The Period 1962 - 1980

The next Rector was the Rev. C. E. Bolsin, He had been ordained in this diocese, had served as a missionary of S.P.G. in India for nine years, and had latterly been Vicar of Heybridge with Langford, Essex. He was instituted on Monday, 30th April, 1962 by the newly-consecrated Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt. Revd. J. G. Tiarks (incidentally his first Institution), and inducted by the Archdeacon of Colchester, the Venerable A. V. C. Cleall. The new Rector, with his wife Dr. Betty Bolsin, a medical practitioner, and their three schoolboy sons, quickly settled into the parish.

The last two decades have been interesting and exciting for the whole Church, and the parish of Myland has participated in the new movements. Modern translations of the Bible have appeared, notably the ecumenical New English Bible published in 1961, and this has been the main version read at our church services since 1962. The introduction of the Parish Communion as the central act of worship brought new vitality and depth of Sunday worship and a notable increase in the number of communicants. During this time the old Prayer Book services were being revised, and the new forms are regularly used in the Church.

The Christian Stewardship movement was gaining impetus and in 1964 the principle was adopted in the parish: it is that members are asked to assess their Christian commitment in terms of the time, abilities and money they are able to give for the work of God in the parish and beyond; this has meant a change of outlook and has also resulted in an improvement of the financial situation.

The Church building also needed attention: in 1964 the interior was redecorated, the clock repaired, and the open area of the baptistery created around the font. In the same year con­sideration was given to the condition of the organ: it had been intended to replace it with a new one, but after expert advice it was decided, since it is a well-constructed instrument, to have it restored and enlarged, and the work was carried out by the organ-building firm of Cedric Arnold. Two years later the old coke-fired boiler with its hot water radiator system was replaced by the present electric tubular heaters.

The 1967 Church inspection revealed that there was considerable infestation of the roof timbers by wood-boring beetles, which necessitated the chemical treatment of all the woodwork in the Church including the pews and the timbers of the spire.

Meanwhile the Men’s Working Party had continued their work by constructing a credence table for the Sanctuary. They then began making a set of six new Choir Stalls in English oak, well designed and matching the woodwork of the Sanctuary, which were dedicated by the Bishop of Colchester. the Rt. Revd. R. N. Coote, at a special service in 1968. Two of the Choir Stalls, one bearing the carving of a lily and the other a Tudor rose, were given in memory of Mrs. Cecil Cant, who died in 1959; she had been Superintendent of the Sunday School in the time of the Revd. M. C. Dickenson, and had also presented the Mothers Union with its banner. All the woodwork is of fine craftsmanship and owes much to the inspiration of Mr. F. G. Nunn, People’s Warden for 21 years until his resignation in 1965. His last task before his death in 1972 was to make the oak cross and candles­ticks for use on the altar.

During this period, as a practical result of Christian Stewardship in the parish. The condition of the Churchyard was greatly improved through the work of a voluntary band of helpers under the leadership of Mr. H. R. R. Whitehorn. The gravel paths were also re-surfaced with tar macadam, and a flowering tree - similar to one planted nearby by the Scouts to mark the Queen’s Coronation - was planted in memory of Mrs. H. Simmons, a faithful Church worker who died in 1973. The flowering tree planted by the Scouts in 1957 was to mark the centenary of the birth of their Founder, Lord Baden-Powell.

The Church Hall also underwent renovation during this period. Between 1965 and 1969 the roof was completely re-tiled, new toilets and kitchen constructed, the floors concreted and tiled and the interior modernised. It is now an attractive building which is fully used by the Church and the local community. Along the road frontage outside are rose-bushes presented by a parishioner, and two silver birch trees planted as a memorial to Mr. Bert Harman, Assistant District Commissioner for Senior Scouts in Colchester, who took particular care and interest in the formative years of the Myland Scout Troop.

During these years there were changes in the Officers of the Church Mr. Richardson relinquished his position as Rector’s Warden in 1963 and was succeeded in turn by Mr. H. G. Lord and Mr. P. J. Long: the present Rector’s Warden, Mr. B. J. Slack, has held office since 1968. Mr. J. W. Dougherty succeeded Mr. Nunn as People’s Warden in 1965 and was followed in 1970 by Mr. H. R. R. Whitehorn, who still continues in office.

From 1971 until his death in 1977 Mr. H. W. Lewington was a Reader in the Parish, and Mr. David Preddy has just been licensed by the Bishop for the same office. Mr. John Mann, a member of the choir, was accept ed as an ordination candidate for the Auxiliary Pastoral Ministry while still in the parish he has since moved to the Blackburn diocese and is continuing his training there. Other members of the choir have given long and faithful service, notably Mr. Harold Beattv for sixty years, and Miss R. V. Mace who has devoted more than fifty years to both the choir and Sunday School. It is of course impossible to mention by name all the people who have given so freely of their time and talents to the Church, many of them over a long period of years their contribution is invaluable and is evident in the world of the Church and the impact of its congregation on the life of the local community.

The renovation of the Church Hall had made it possible for meetings to be held in good conditions, but much still needed to be done with regard to the Rectory. By 1962 it had become increasingly evident that in spite Of repairs which had been carried out over past years, the Rectory would have to be replaced by a more modern building. Plans were drawn up, and by the autumn of 1970 the work had begun. The new Rectory was built to the south of the old building on part of the former garden and was completed in 1972. The old Rectory and about half the land was sold to the Borough Council who demolished the building and developed the area in an attractive scheme to provide flats for elderly people, in five separate buildings. At the same time the old churchyard containing the foundations of the mediaeval parish church was landscaped to furnish an amenity for the residents.

During this time, some interesting discoveries were made when the Colchester Archaeological Group under the auspices of the Colchester and Essex Museum revealed the foundations of the old church. The Font was found to be buried in the ruins of the south porch. It is now in the Museum, where it will eventually be re-assembled: it is of brick and dates from the early 19th century. The original old church was evidently much larger than that shown in existing records and pictures. There was a nave 32’ 9” long and 18’ 9” wide, with walls 2’ to 2’ 6” thick. From this extended a chancel with a width of 15’ 9”: the south wall was traced for 23’ of its length and the east end of the original church lay at some point beyond. It is thought that the later church, which existed in Morant’s time and is recorded in his “ History and Antiquities of the most ancient Town and Borough of Colchester “, was built in the 17th century from materials of the former church. Its chancel was only 6’ 10” long, and this is the building depicted in old drawings, and by a model made by Miss A. P. Strong which is in the Hollytrees Museum.

With regard to recent bequests in 1962 the Communion plate of the church consisted only of the beautiful 17th century chalice and paten already mentioned, and a pewter flagon and dish of the 19th century, but with the growing need for additional vessels at Holy Communion, more have been added in the intervening years. In 1970, from a generous legacy under the will of the late Miss Kathleen Rogers, a small percentage of the gift was used to purchase a silver box for altar breads. This was followed by a gift by Mrs. Ivy Heath of a silver salver for the offertory procession. A smaller chalice and paten were presented by Mr. Jack Child in memory of his parents, Leslie and Grace Child, who died in 1969. A pyx for the Communion of the sick was given by Mrs. Mary Beaurain in memory of her husband Eric, who died in 1971. The latest addition, in 1973, was the ciborium used at the Parish Communion, which is a memorial to Mrs. Hilda Simmons.

In 1976 the Rector was appointed an Honorary Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral. It was the first time in the history of the parish that a Rector had been honoured in this way and it is an event in which the parish takes pride. The service of Collation and Installation of seven Honorary Canons from the Diocese took place in Chelmsford Cathedral on October 23rd of that year, and the Rector was placed in the stall in the chancel which bears the name of the Venerable Bede. A large congregation attended the service, including many members from St. Michael’s.

With regard to other structural matters in the Parish Church the condition of the easternmost two-light window on the south side of the nave had been deteriorating and in 1977 was in need of extensive repair. It was replaced by a plain glass window in which the central pictorial medallions of the former window were retained. The new window, like the old one, is a memorial, and commemorates four former parishioners William and Grace Newnham, John Ayden and Edna Beatty. It was dedicated by the Bishop of Colchester in 1978.

The Church inspection in 1977 had emphasised some urgent repairs which needed to be undertaken without delay. These were the re-roofing of the two small vestries, the re-shingling of the church spire, and replacement of corner-stones in the tower. In addition, there was the necessity to re-concrete a portion of the nave floor on the south side where the wooden floor had deteriorated, and the repainting of the clock-face The first two items had been expected and some provision had been made towards the expense; then in 1978 the parishioners set to work to raise the remainder of the money required and all the repairs were completed in that year. The new cedar shingles much enhance the beauty of the- spire and it is hoped they will provide a weatherproof covering for many years to come.

The story ceases at this point with the retirement of Canon Bolsin after eighteen years of faithful service and active leader­ship. All his parishioners wish him a long and happy retirement, and are glad to know that he and his wife will not be far away, but residing still in Essex in the village of Fordham.