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Barling & Wakering Villages Plus
St Timothy’s Church, Stonebridge

Article by Richard Kirton - December 2014 Article updated October 2015











































You may wonder why the title of this article is ‘St. Timothy’s Church, Stonebridge’ when the opening picture is that of Stonebridge Rose Gardens.


This article is the result of much debate concerning the existence of a church at Stonebridge called St Timothy's. The original query was raised by Sylvia Stock, formerly of Great Wakering, who had seen a church magazine dated November 1940 and bearing in mind it was wartime, services for Stonebridge were stated as follows:


The Vicar, Rev. E C Fremont, L.Th.  conducted all services for All Saints, Barling Magna, St Mary the Virgin, Little Wakering and St Timothy's Stonebridge.

Further corroboration from David Freeman, Ann (Mower) Stacey, Pamela (Gregory) Mulcaire and Kitty (Snow) Clapp, all of whom lived nearby, has in fact verified the existence of St Timothy’s Church in Stonebridge.

David recalled his mother referring to St Timothy's as close by. They lived at the bottom end of Barrow Hall Road, i.e. in Stonebridge. He is in possession of a church magazine from 1945 that refers to St Timothy's.


St Timothy's Church does seem to have been a temporary church established in the ‘Stonebridge Tea Rooms’, opposite ‘The Shoulderstick’, during the War years.


Pamela and Ann and Kitty used to attend Sunday school there. It was run by Kitty's older sister, Gladys Snow, and a Miss Street. In 1940 Pamela was given a book from St Timothy's as a prize for good attendance and behaviour at Sunday school. Ann said that the sessions were not always orderly! She recalls a small altar with a cross being in there. Kitty said that the Sunday School was held in the Tea Rooms in winter but would be held in a barn opposite in summer.


No-one can recall when the Sunday school finished and when the Tea Rooms reopened - if they ever closed. However, Ann remembers a charabanc on Southend seafront in the late 1930s advertising trips to the Stonebridge Rose Garden and Tea Rooms. Pam confirms that such rides took place after the War, too.

Pam remembered another local church that no longer exists. After a little research it was established that she was referring to St Mary's at Shopland which was demolished in 1957, though the graveyard still exists. There are many websites referring to it, which sadly, is not the case for St Timothy's.


Update 10th October 2015


For those who are interested, Barling and Little Wakering became a united benefice in 1933 and the united benefice came to an end on 1 February 2008 when they became one parish.


I was fortunate to have the opportunity to talk to Sylvia Lloyd (nee Stock) today at the Friends of Barling quarterly reunion at the Castle Inn in Little Wakering. She presented me with an original copy of the church magazine mentioned earlier, titled ‘THE UNITED BENEFICE OF BARLING with WAKERING AND ST. TIMOTHY'S, STONEBRIDGE’ and dated November 1940. Joined back to back and upside down is another publication titled ‘The Church Magazine’, also dated November 1940 and dedicated to St Nicholas, Great Wakering and St Mary the Virgin, North Shoebury. The price for the joint church magazine was twopence.


Sylvia Lloyd and her cousin Shirley Gibson (nee Lubbock) have contributed several photographs from their collections and they can be viewed here. The following photograph shows Sylvia as Mary in a Nativity production at St Nicholas Church, Great Wakering in 1953. Today at age 75yrs, Sylvia is still very active and pursues her musical talent and ability as a pianist. The following photograph might stir the memories of others who played in the same Nativity production at St Nicholas Church.


In Sylvia’s earlier days as Sylvia Stock, she was the pianist at many events including The Ricaman School of Dancing and an example of one of the programmes for the event can be seen here.

Picture shows the Shoulderstick on the right, Stonebridge Rose Garden and Tea Rooms in the centre (now demolished) and what looks like the barn on the left. St Timothy's was a temporary church established in the Stonebridge Tea Rooms during the War years.