St Peter and St Paul, Birch, Essex

It has charm and atmosphere – but it needs new friends

The interior of this Grade II church, built by SS Teulon in 1850, exudes great atmosphere. But the wood floor is rotten. The stonework is crumbling inside and out. Even its weathercock was damaged by a low flying Chinook from the nearby base.

Photo: Birch Church by John Whitworth for The Victorian Society. 

Abandoned over twenty years ago, St Peter and St Paul now faces basic questions over its continued survival. Talk of a development deal, whereby surrounding land is sold for housing and thus funds church repair, is not popular locally; some residents would rather have the church demolished than more houses springing up.

Birch Church by John Whitworth


There are other options. The church is situated in Essex commuting territory. It could be converted into a seriously eyecatching house by someone with resources and the right architect.

Birch Church by John Whitworth

If this church is to be saved, it first needs to stop getting worse. That is the church’s responsibility. It is then everyone’s job to see that this charming building has the chance to survive its most testing time

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