Clacton St Paul
St Paul, Clacton on Sea, Essex
This is one of the most important post-war Anglican churches in East Anglia. It was built in 1965 to the design of Ray Gould, and is full of 1960s confidence. It is entirely Anglican - the holy end, the pulpit and lectern, the lady chapel - it really couldn't be anything else. The exterior is dramatic with an unsymmetrical rising bell tower. To the west of the church is an ecclesiastical village - the hall, offices, the rectory, etc. It is hard to imagine that a CofE church of this scale and confidence will be built in England again, since they all seem to be ecumenical sheds these days. The east end is focused on a vast dalle de verre window by Rosemary Rutherford (Hinderclay, Boxford, Bradfield St Lawrence, etc). The other windows in the church are resettings of earlier windows by her from the preceding Victorian church. The church gets a full page in the colour plates section of the revised Pevsner, with as many photos as Thaxted church gets. The couple on duty were delightful, and insisted on showing me around. The church's presence is enhanced by its somewhat suburban setting, albeit only a few hundred yards from Clacton's main drag.