St Nicholas


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St. Nicholas Church, Elmdon

The church occupies an ancient site which is thought to be a partly man-made platform. Roman funerary pottery has been found in the churchyard. We know that Christian worship has been conducted here for well over 700 years, one of the earliest references to the Parish of Elmdon being dated 1179. Although the present building is largely a Victorian reconstruction, it rests on 14th century foundations, as you can see just by looking at the bases of the pillars and font. The tower was added in the 15th century and remains largely unaltered apart from the 19th century battlements.

Elmdon is now part of a group of seven neighbouring villages brought together in 2009 to form the Icknield Way Parish, the furthest "outpost" of the Diocese of Chelmsford. You can read more about the Parish on the board In the church and on the Village Web page, Village Web.

Our List of Clergy on the south wall of the church records names from 1324 which is when William de Drayton resigned (we don't know when he started). The fact that no clergy names are recorded before that date might suggest that the local dignitaries of the day were unable to attract a resident clergyman at all until they could provide a proper stone building in which his congregation could meet.

St. Nicholas was born in the 3rd century to a prosperous family in the Greek village of Patara. He eventually became Bishop of Myra, near the modern city of Demre in what is now Turkey. In addition to his many other saintly responsibilities, as the protector of bakers, brewers, brides, captives, coopers, merchants, pawnbrokers, sailors and the people of Greece, Lorraine, Russia and Sicily, St. Nicholas is of course also the Patron Saint of children – and the original Father Christmas! There is no record of why our church is named in his honour, but one would like to think that Elmdon Christians of long ago realised the importance of passing on their Christian faith to their children. We try to keep that tradition alive here today, since without the active involvement of the next generation the Church in England would have a very limited future.