Stansted Mountfitchet St John
St John the Evangelist, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex

The church is a grand sight on the hillside, the 1880s early work of Water Caroe (who did Eversden) so in full fantastic flight. The red brick tower is engulfed in statues and tracery.

I'd arranged to meet a friend in here at 9.30, and thought about a wander around the surprisingly scruffy little town first. But it began to rain, and I wandered up to the church to discover with some horror that it was being used for a mums and tots group from 9.30 onwards. Carpe Horem, I thought to myself, and wandered inside.

As big as the exterior looks, the interior is warm and intimate, the woodwork of the chancel instantly reminiscent of Elveden. Thankfully, the nave was full of modern chairs (Caroes work hasn't been replaced, the parish ran out of money in the 1890s) and this is a good offsetting for the low arches and a lovely curved balcony.

Caroe's elaborate wrought iron gas lamps have been taken down and now serve as flower stands. Some decent stained glass by Burllison and Grys, but most of the windows are clear. I was glad I'd seen inside, but now escaped the invasion of mums and tots and met my friend in the railway station instead.
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