Rectors of the New Church

Mile End Road 1906

     Mile End Road 1906

Photo of the Reverend Edmund HallThe Rev. E. Hall (photo right) served the Parish as Rector from the consecration of the New Church until 1902. In 1955 the older members of the Parish still remembered his ministry here. Mr. David Durrant, of Mill Road, told of Sunday School outings to Brightlingsea, when the journey was made by train, and, in the evening, the tired but happy children were met at the station by decorated farm waggons waiting to take them up the long hill to the village, escorted by the village band. He also remembered a Choir Outing to the Crystal Palace some years before it was burnt down.

On the death of the Rev. E. Hall a mural tablet was erected to his memory in the Chancel and the balance of the subscriptions was devoted to opening a fund for the provision of a new organ. The organ was at length installed, in 1912, in the north-east corner of the north aisle. It was moved to its present position in the north side of the chancel some 22 years later, when the vestry was rebuilt and enlarged. An inscription on the outer wall of the new vestries reads:

 

In loving memory of Esther Ellis Nevard who departed this life 26 July 1929. These vestries were erected 1933 by her husband Albert Edward Nevard.

Rev. W. J. Wallace M.A.       H. H. Savage. Church
Rector.                               R. W. Revens, Wardens.

The former organ stood in the south side of the chancel, next to the Sanctuary, blocking the small south door, and the place where the organ-blower used to stand is marked by a worn step close to the Communion-rail.

The Rev. H. S. Stevens succeeded the Rev. E. Hall as Rector in 1903 and during the period of his ministry the parish became much enlarged by the influx of population to staff the Severalls Hospital which was erected in the area in 1912.

For some years the condition of the roof of the Church had been causing anxiety to the Parish Council, and in 1906 the sum of £61 8s. 8d. was expended on extensive repairs. The Rev. H. S. Stevens was succeeded by the Rev. M. C. Dickenson, who ministered to the parish from 1917 to 1922, and “The Roof Repair Fund “ appears in the minutes of the Church Council right up to the end of this period.

The 1914-1918 war saw forty-two casualties among the men of Myland and a war memorial in the chancel bears a list of their names; a small wooden crucifix hangs above it and a tablet at the side is inscribed:

“This Crucifix was found by Pte. William Tipper in France, and given by his Mother to St. Michael’s Roll of Honour, in proud and loving memory of his life laid down for his Country ”

Eighteen more names were- added to the Roll of Honour as a result of casualties suffered in the 1939-45 war.

No account of St. Michael’s would be complete without some mention of the Rectory. The following is an extract from Newcourt’s “Repertorium” dated 1710:

Terrier 1637. A Parsonage-House with an orchard. Back Yard. Barn. and a Stable, and about 27 Acres and half of Glebe.

This “parsonage-house” was entirely rebuilt during the ministry of the Rev. P. Strong, in 1842, and was therefore thirteen years older than the Church; it was a spacious house in late Regency style, with well-proportioned rooms of great charm and dignity, and a specially beautiful staircase curving up to the first floor from the main entrance hall. It was built on the same site as the old Rectory, but unfortunately the clay sub-soil which had caused trouble in the past was to account for more dilapidations in the future. By the time the Rev. M. C. Dickenson was appointed in 1917, expensive repairs were necessary, including a complete overhaul of the drainage system. In order to economise and be able to meet the cost of the work, the Rector and his wife lived for a while in the private house, 118 Nayland Road, but by the time his successor, the Rev. S. R. Cambie, D.Litt., was appointed the Rectory was once more habitable and had been fitted with some modern improvements.

On the 17th October, 1922, the Rev. S R Cambie was instituted at Myland, and it was a coincidence that his predecessor, the Rev. M. C. Dickenson, was also instituted on the very same day in the Private Chapel of the Bishop’s Palace at Wells. The new Rector took up residence at the Rectory but his stay in the Parish was not of long duration as he did not enjoy good health, and in 1926 he arranged an exchange of benefices with his friend, De. W J Limmer Sheppard, D.D., Vicar of Holy Trinity, Ripon and Saxlingham, near Norwich.

Dr. Sheppard was also deeply interested in hymnology, having edited the CMS Hymn-book and a collection of mission hymns. It was he who augmented the Myland Church Choir by the introduction of sixteen robed lady Choristers, admitted at a special service after Evensong on Sunday, 9th May 1926.

He also raised a bursary within the Parish to provide for the training of one of the Church’s members, Miss Mona Mee, as a worker in the Mission field. Miss Mee, who thus became “ Our Own Missionary “ devoted her life to this work for nearly thirty years and performed outstanding service in southern India. A farewell gathering was held before her departure in October, 1927, and presentations were made by her friends; she in turn gave to the Church the electric light over the door of the Parish Hall.

The Eagle Lectern of hammered brass was also presented to the Church during Dr. L. Sheppard’s ministry. This, and the revised version of the Bible which stands thereon, was purchased with money bequeathed by Miss Fanny Cant, of Myland Lodge, second daughter of Benjamin R. and Elizabeth Cant, in memory of her mother. It was dedicated by the Bishop of Colchester at the morning service on Sunday, 10th October, 1926.

Mrs. Edith Sheppard, who had been in delicate health for some time, pre-deceased her husband, and a tablet to her memory is placed on the wall of the Church next to the seat where she used to worship; it is inscribed:

In sweet and happy memory of the Rector’s Beloved Wife, Edith Mary Sheppard: called to Her Lord’s Higher Service February 22nd, 1930.

Dr. Sheppard died in 1932 and was succeeded in the following year by the Rev. W. J. Wallace, M.A., Rector of Clophill, The Rev. W. J. Wallace had spent the greater part of his life as a missionary in China, and the frequent allusions in his sermons to customs in the Far East evinced his deep and life-long interest in missionary work. A flourishing Sunday school has always been part of the life of Myland Church, and in this Mrs. Wallace was a devoted worker. The Second World War, however, was destined to shadow their later years at Myland with the loss of two of their children: Cyril Stanley Wallace, killed whilst serving as an officer in the Royal Air Force, and Joan May Maddams, who died whilst interned in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. The Rev. and Mrs. Wallace bore their sorrows with fortitude and continued to minister to the needs of the Parish until the Rector’s sudden death in the summer of 1948, and a tablet in the Chancel, close by the Roll of Honour which bears the names of his son and daughter, commemorates his service as follows:

In loving memory of the Rev. W. J. Wallace, M.A., Rector of this Parish from 8th January 1933 until he died 26th June 1948.