Home ¦ Location ¦ Events ¦ History¦ People ¦ Views¦ Pilgrimage¦ Sales¦ Friends ¦ Quiet Days¦ Contacting Us¦ FAQS
On this page we introduce you to the people who have been and are part of St Peter's Chapel. Starting with St Cedd and the key historical characters. We bring you right up-to-date with some of the people who work behind the scenes and some who work centre stage. St Peter's has been cared for and is still cared for by many who give their time freely and with love. The majority of them are not included here as we just don't have the space. But thanks to the efforts of these unsung heroes we all can enjoy and visit St Peter's whenever we wish. Finally you will find contributions from just a few of the visitors to the Chapel who have been inspired to share their words, thoughts or pictures with us.
St Cedd Dr Bishop Laurie Green Chaplain of St Peters Bradwell Villagers The Othona Community Annie Mawson Martin Riemer Peggy Katic Polly Clark and David Simpson Maarten van der Marel Reverend Peter Sandberg
1300 years ago there were people working in Ireland and Scotland to spread the Christian faith. In Ireland, Patrick had established many monasteries and from there Columba had come to Iona, a tiny island off the west coast of Scotland, to establish a monastery and many other Christian centres.
From Columba's monastery, a man called Aidan was sent from Iona at the invitation of King Oswald of Northumbria to set up a monastery at Lindisfarne on the north-east coast. It was also to be a school where Anglo-Saxon boys could be trained to become priests and missionaries. It was in this school that Cedd and his brothers Caelin, Cynebil and Chad learnt to read and write in Latin, and learnt to teach the Christian faith. The four brothers were all ordained as priests and two of them, Cedd and Chad, later became bishops. Cedd's first mission was to go to the midlands, then called Mercia, at the request of its ruler, King Paeda, who wanted his people to become Christians. Cedd was so successful that when King Sigbert of the East Saxons (Essex) asked for a similar mission, it was Cedd who was sent.
So in 653 Cedd sailed down the east coast of England from Lindisfarne and landed at Bradwell. Here he found the ruins of an old deserted Roman fort. He probably first built a small wooden church but as there was so much stone from the fort he soon realised that would provide a much more permanent building, so he replaced it the next year with the chapel we see today!
The story continues on the History page..
Dr Bishop Laurie Green
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bishop Laurie Green retired from office at the end of January 2011. To conclude his ministry as Bishop of Bradwell, Bishop Laurie presided at a special Eucharist at Chelmsford Cathedral on Saturday 22nd January during which formal farewells and gifts were given to him and to Vicki his wife; and then the following day, on the afternoon of Sunday 23rd January, we gathered for a 'Service of Farewell for Bishop Laurie at the Chapel at Bradwell. It was all very atmospheric and very magical! The service began with us sitting quietly in the mid-winter darkness of the January afternoon. Then a taper was lit and while we sang 'Colours of Day' the Chapel filled with twinkling lights as one-by-one we passed the flame amongst ourselves. Our new Diocesan Bishop, Bishop Stephen gave the address and Bishop Laurie handed over his Bradwell staff to the Diocesan Bishop
Click the purple button to visit the Diocese of Chelmsford's website.
Rev Brigid Main at her licencing on 2nd February 2013
Chaplain of St Peters, Brigid Main
Brigid Main has been appointed chaplain to the Chapel and was licensed by the Rt. Rev. John Wraw, Bishop of Bradwell, in the Chapel on 2nd February 2013.
Brigid has lived in Bradwell for 30 years. She was ordained in 1999 and for the past 10 years lived at the Chelmsford Diocesan Retreat House at Pleshey, where her husband Laurie was House Manager and she was Associate Priest. Brigid has just retired from leading training of Pastoral Assistants in the Diocese and is thrilled to find that God has called her to this very special ministry.
The Bradwell village community plays an active part in the life of the the Chapel. They visit daily to restock the bookstall, arrange the flowers, clean and generally look after St Peter's.
They also play an active part in the Summer season of services by providing music, hymn sheets, help for the disabled, and anything else that becomes necessary to ensure that visitors to the Chapel have a rewarding experience.
Picture courtesy of Othona Community.
The Othona Community is an ecumenical Christian community which was founded in 1946 by an Anglican clergyman, the Revd. Canon Norman Motley. They welcome people of all faiths (and none) to come and learn how to live in community, for a few days, a few weeks or for an unforgettable break.
Click the yellow button to visit Othona's Website.
Picture courtesy of Annie Mawson.
As a Cumbrian farmer's daughter, Annie has lived all her life in the Lake District. She learned to play the piano when she was 5 and was church organist from the age of 7. She has taught herself to play the Clarsach, the Celtic Harp and since 1991 has used it as an accompaniment to her wide repertoire of songs with a distinct emphasis on our Celtic heritage.
The Celtic Pilgrimage of 1997, celebrating the 1400th Anniversary of St Augustine, tested Annie's energies to the full In the Spring, she started a tour of 20 of West Cumbrian churches, raising over £5,000 for the local Alzheimers Association, the NSPCC, Hospice from Home, and West Cumbrian branch of Amnesty International, charities very dear to Annie's heart. She then played at St Augustine's Abbey, in the Vigil Service conducted by Archbishop Carey to commemorate the official start of the Pilgrimage. From there to Lindisfarne, "Holy Island" on the Northumbrian coast, then to Carlisle Cathedral to lead the music for the Western branch of Pilgrims, and then to a sell-out concert at Rose Castle, the home of Bishop Ian Harland of Carlisle. All this finally culminated in a dash to Bradwell where she sang for Cardinal Basil Hume and then to over 5,000 pilgrims in a never-to-be-forgotten-experience
is a member and German representative of the Othona Community. He has produced some interesting three-dimensional images of the Chapel.
If you are technically orientated and wish to see these images you will need to download some largish data files and probably some extra software. All this can be done via Martin's Website which is reached by clicking the picture of the Chapel on the left.
"Since early childhood in the 1930s Bradwell, St. Peter's and the Blackwater (also the Crouch) have been favourite places of mine. I grew up in Hockley, Essex, though I have lived in London for many years. All I can say about St. Peter's is that I love it. I wrote this verse a number of years ago.
Peggy Katic, April 2002"
St. Peters stands,
Full of centuried age,
In the midst of dreaming acres.
Surrounding the ancient stones,
Under green banks, are the remains
Of an even earlier occupation.
Othonas Roman fort, guarding
The Saxon shore, faced the same rushing waves.
The same salt-laden gales
Which sang their wild song
Chills the ears of pilgrims
Of the present day as they tread
The path to antiquity and
The time-worn stones of sanctity.
Polly Clark and David Simpson wrote this together, two lines each, after a January 2004 visit to St Peter's and Othona.
Thirty miles we drove towards the Essex marshes
Through Tiptree, Totham and Tolleshunt D'Arcy
To Bradwell on the sea and Saint Peter's on the Wall.
I drive as you direct us round the Maldon by-pass.
Ancient elms and winter wheat and banks of wispy grass;
Dengie land, ploughed land, land behind the wall.
When Saint Cedd sailed down from Lindisfarne
With thirty monks they built this barn;
A church of stone from the Roman wall.Othona stone, Roman bricks, mortar and wood.
They built it strong on solid ground and saw that it was good;
And all the while the sea heaps shells against the fortress wall.
Othona's now a place where `men take time to pray,
To live in stillness by the sea, routine for every day;
As did those monks when first they built their church upon the wall.
This beautiful winter sunset picture was taken by Maarten early in 2006.
Reverend Peter Sandberg
The Revd Peter Sandberg used to be at St Peter's Thundersley. He was Rural Dean of Hadleigh too. Now he has retired and has written this lovely poem about the Chapel.
The grey North Sea rolls in, just touched with gold
where autumn sunshine skims its slanting rays
across the crests of spume. The air grows cold,
and brackish seaweed scents the evening haze.
A solitary crow with steady beat
flaps over hedge and field, while out to sea
the weaving, screeching gulls swoop down to meet
a craft which heads toward a promontory.
Upon this modest foreland stands in stone,
pockmarked and lichened now through storms and age,
the chapel built by Cedd from Lindisfarne,
today a hallowed place of pilgrimage.
While Bradwell's nuclear power has had its day,
this ancient chapel's grace is here to stay.
|Home||Location||Events||History||People||Views||Pilgrimage||Sales||Friends||Quiet Days||Contact Us||FAQS|
Website designed and maintained by Peter
Finch of Open Secret.
Material Copyright © 1999-2013 St Peter's Chapel and Open Secret.