St James, Little Clacton, Essex
This was my sixteenth church of the 2014 Historic Churches Ride and Stride event in Essex. The prettiest church of the day, a typical Essex church, entirely rural and with a feel of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Two old ladies on duty were very jolly, and the ancient vicar who turned up was very jolly too. They made it clear that there is always a key available for anyone who wants to see inside. A small church, unique around here in not being extended or rebuilt in the 19th Century, and not much changed inside since then. It all seemed very traditional. One of the ladies told me that they were in a joint benefice the evangelically-minded Weeley, which I had found locked the previous summer, 'but we don't have much to do with each other'.
It was a lovely one to finish with. I headed on through the straggle of suburbia that Little Clacton now consists of for two miles. I saw fields, and within a few minutes I was back at Thorpe le Soken station. It was only 3.30. But I was in the happy position of a man who knows he has visited every other church for at least fifty miles around. And so I went home.