Welcome to St Michael’s!

At St Michael’s we believe in the saving life of Jesus and that God loves all people. Therefore, we want everyone to feel that church is for them. For those unfamiliar to church church can feel daunting and confusing. Therefore, at St Michael’s we try to make our worship as welcoming and accessible as possible. Because we believe the Bible to be the very words of God that still speaks today, we try to make our teaching as relevant as possible to everyday life, so that everyone can understand God’s message.

At the very heart of what we believe is that God sent his one and only son, Jesus, into this world to rescue us from the darkness and evil we find in the world and in our own lives. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead in order to bring us forgiveness and new life.

God the Father welcomes all who simply trust in Jesus into his family. He gives them his Holy Spirit to change them. God joins believers together in the church to grow in faith, serve one another and share the good news with everyone.

At St Michael's you’ll find people of all ages worshipping God together. On Sunday mornings we have lively worship for all the church family, groups for youngsters, good teaching, and afterwards a time of tea and coffee to catch up with friends. There is also plenty going on during the week to get connected with. We hope you’ll find a home with us here at St Michael’s.

More about the history of our church can be found out by clicking on the following link: ……… (piece by Richard Brown)

To find out more about the good news of Jesus Christ, and what we believe, please take a few minutes to watch the clip below (3-2-1 clip that is on our current website).

Who's who at St Michael's

  • Rev Tom Loh
    Rev Tom Loh Vicar
  • Teresa Bridgwater
    Teresa Bridgwater Children and Families Worker
  • Rev Clive Lucas
    Rev Clive Lucas Curate
  • Rev Paul Gambling
    Rev Paul Gambling Associate Minister at St Andrew’s
  • Rev Paul Gambling
    Rev Michael Walker Curate
  • Paul Sisson
    Paul Sisson Pastoral Assistant
  • Richard Brown
    Richard Brown Lay Reader and Churchwarden
  • Wendy Gould
    Wendy Gould Church Administrator

Our sister church, St Andrew’s

Over recent years we’ve been working ever more closely with our neighbouring parish of St Andrew’s. In November 2016 our vicar, Tom Loh, became responsible for overseeing both churches as a way to recognise the close relationship between our churches. St Andrew’s is a vibrant church that has a heart for opening its doors to the community. During the week they offer much help for the lonely, the homeless and those with mental health issues.

To find out more about what they’re up to, or how to get involved with any of their outreach projects, please contact the Associate Minister, Paul Gambling, (01702 340488, revpg@icloud.com). St Andrew’s is located on the corner of Westborough and Electric Ave.

What We Believe

  • We believe that the heart of the gospel is that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, to bring us forgiveness and new life.
  • We believe that the Bible is the supreme and final authority in all matters of faith.
  • We are committed to the historic teaching of the Church of England.
  • We also are a member of the Evangelical Alliance and subscribe to their Basis of Faith.

100 Years of History of
St Michael's Church

This is an original cutting of the advert placed in the Southend Standard to publicise the new church-in-a-tent.

The picture shows St Michaels clergy in 1912. Seated is Rev Hugh Morrison Rose, the boss being the only one apparently allowed to look at the camera. To his left is the Rev Hugh Hutchings, our first curate-in-charge, called up in 1914 and who never returned. He did survive the War, being awarded the Military Cross. To the right is the Rev Shaw, who moved to another parish.

The tent was well equipped. It had lino on the floor, a harmonium to sing with, and a solid brass cross, candlesticks and vases. Much of what is in this picture still survives somewhere in the church.

The tent was placed near the spot where the church hall now stands, beside Leigh Road West (now simply Leigh Road). While services were being held in the tent, the Church (now the Church Hall) was being built behind it. Leigh Road West had yet to be made up, even though the Leigh Trams ran along it.

100 Years of History of
St Michael's Church - 2

A full program of services was provided from the very beginning. 8 am Holy Communion, 11 am Matins, a 3 pm Children's Service and a 6.30 Evensong all ensured that the Church Army tent was kept well used, and well worth the £40 the church paid for its hire until the beginning of November.

The plans for the first church were submitted to Southend Council on the 28th June 1912, passed in full three weeks later, and the building was finished and dedicated on the 28th September, the eve of St Michaels Day, at a cost of £1200. Ten weeks to build a building that also celebrates its 100th birthday this year.

There is no record of why the name was chosen, but there is a long tradition in the C of E of using the dedication 'St Michael and All Angels' for outposts and satellites away from the centre of activity (today we might call them 'church plants'). That was obviously the way the western end of the parish was thought of in those days. In the books of Daniel and Revelation, Michael and his angels are seen as the great protectors of the church against all the evil that Satan can come up with.

The picture of the inside of the first St Michaels shows the altar standing where the stage now stands, and the main door was at the west end, now bricked up. The St Michaels window can be clearly seen at the east end of the church - in the 1980's it was removed and replaced in a window on the North Side of the current church.

100 Years of History of
St Michael's Church
1914 to 1927

And then there was a War - the war to end all wars. Development stopped, although many of the building plots had been sold, clergy and people enrolled and went off to war, and all thoughts of building the church disappeared for a few years.

However, by 1926, armed with an impressive design by Sir Charles Nicholson, there was enough money in the Building Fund to begin building the first part of the church. The first phase of building consisted of the chancel, Lady Chapel, vestries and organ loft, plus the enormous pillars in the body of the church designed to eventually hold up the nave roof. That was as far as the money ran to, so a temporary roof over the nave, and side and end walls were also put up to enable the church to function. The temporary roof stayed for the next 40 years.

The original parts of the church were dedicated on 26th February 1927 by Bishop Guy Warman, the second Bishop of Chelmsford. It had cost about £10,000 and was built by J C Flaxman and Sons in ten months. The strange shape of the roof line was not designed - the roof should have been all at the same level. But the original design was never really affordable, and the church remained in debt right up until 1971, when it finally finished paying for the three major phases of the building's development.

The pictures show the cornerstone, laid by Lady Elveden (Paul Channon's grandmother) to start the building's construction, and the clergy and choir, probably on the occasion of the 1927 dedication. Also note the enormous original design for St Michaels, complete with bell tower, and a spire of Salisbury Cathedral proportions.

100 Years of History of
St Michael's Church - 1927

The first part of the church was built - about a quarter of the original design, plus a huge temporary roof. In 1923, the parish had been formed by the simple act of dividing the parish of St Saviours in half. According to the Order in Council that authorised the new parish of St Michael and All Angels, the dividing line started at the bridge over the Prittle Brook (by the old Albany Laundry), proceeded down the middle of Nelson Road, then down Leigh Road and Old Leigh Road, then due south across farmland until it got to the railway, more or less where The Drive now goes.

The first Vicar was the Rev Benjamin West Taylor, who can be seen in the picture on the previous page along with the curate, Rev John Barnett. Also in that picture is a magnificently moustachioed Edwardian Gent who might well be Alfred Peggs or Charles Shillinglaw, two of the founding fathers of St Michaels.

The 1920s also marks the rise and rise of the remarkable St Michaels football team ("the Saints"). They were one of the original members of the Southend Combination, and in its second season (1921/22) finished next to bottom of the league, with St Saviours just above them. They could only go up from then, and for three consecutive seasons from 1926 to 1929 were First Division champions. They then joined the Southern Olympian League, winning it at the first attempt in 1931, and got to the 4th Round of the Amateur Cup in 1933, losing to Derby Amateurs at the famous Baseball Ground in Derby.

After WW2, they were never the same, having rejoined the Southend Combination, they finished bottom of the First Division in 1956/57 and ceased to exist shortly afterwards.

The pictures show the very earliest team in about 1920, a team from 1932 at their peak, and a shot of a tennis party believed to have been taken on St Michaels land in about 1922 before the church was built.

100 Years of History of
St Michael's Church

This is an original cutting of the advert placed in the Southend Standard to publicise the new church-in-a-tent.

The picture shows St Michaels clergy in 1912. Seated is Rev Hugh Morrison Rose, the boss being the only one apparently allowed to look at the camera. To his left is the Rev Hugh Hutchings, our first curate-in-charge, called up in 1914 and who never returned. He did survive the War, being awarded the Military Cross. To the right is the Rev Shaw, who moved to another parish.

The tent was well equipped. It had lino on the floor, a harmonium to sing with, and a solid brass cross, candlesticks and vases. Much of what is in this picture still survives somewhere in the church.

The tent was placed near the spot where the church hall now stands, beside Leigh Road West (now simply Leigh Road). While services were being held in the tent, the Church (now the Church Hall) was being built behind it. Leigh Road West had yet to be made up, even though the Leigh Trams ran along it.

A full program of services was provided from the very beginning. 8 am Holy Communion, 11 am Matins, a 3 pm Children's Service and a 6.30 Evensong all ensured that the Church Army tent was kept well used, and well worth the £40 the church paid for its hire until the beginning of November.

The plans for the first church were submitted to Southend Council on the 28th June 1912, passed in full three weeks later, and the building was finished and dedicated on the 28th September, the eve of St Michaels Day, at a cost of £1200. Ten weeks to build a building that also celebrates its 100th birthday this year.

There is no record of why the name was chosen, but there is a long tradition in the C of E of using the dedication 'St Michael and All Angels' for outposts and satellites away from the centre of activity (today we might call them 'church plants'). That was obviously the way the western end of the parish was thought of in those days. In the books of Daniel and Revelation, Michael and his angels are seen as the great protectors of the church against all the evil that Satan can come up with.

The picture of the inside of the first St Michaels shows the altar standing where the stage now stands, and the main door was at the west end, now bricked up. The St Michaels window can be clearly seen at the east end of the church - in the 1980's it was removed and replaced in a window on the North Side of the current church.