Parish of Ss Simon & Jude, Quendon and All Saints, Rickling
Until 2012 there were two Church of England Parishes in Quendon and Rickling, but from the beginning of May 2012 the situation which had developed informally was regularised by officially joining the two parishes. They are now one parish of Quendon and Rickling which is in line with the Civil Parish structure.
Following the retirement of the Revd Canon Chris Bishop, and the consequent breaking up of the former benefice of Manuden, Berden and Quendon & Rickling, the parish has rejoined Widdington in forming a new benefice with Newport. The Revd. Neil McLeod has been appointed incumbent of the benefice and here is an introduction to him.
Some of you may have already met when I have taken services at the church in Quendon, but for those who haven’t ‘Hello! My name is Revd Neil Mcleod’. I am currently Priest-in-Charge of the churches in Newport & Widdington, having been licensed on 5th March 2012, and very shortly I shall become the priest-in-charge in the parish of Quendon & Rickling following Revd. Canon Chris Bishop’s retirement. I am really looking forward to it and to meeting people of the two villages, getting involved with the Church of England School in Rickling and serving in the churches. When I moved in last year it wasn’t an area of Essex that I knew very well, but I fell in love with it. Over the last year I have been learning my way around and whilst I know some of the major roads quite often people still mention the name of a village to me and I say, ‘Where’s that?’ I have been fortunate enough to get to know the churchwardens a bit but there are still many things that we can learn about each other; it is one of the exciting things about taking on Quendon & Rickling – meeting new people.
But who am I, and what makes me tick? Well I am now 51 years old and for the majority of my life I lived in the Barking & Dagenham area of Essex bordering upon East London, which is where my parents moved out from in the 1950s. Growing up in the middle of a sprawling council estate was radically different from living in Newport but I believe that God has led me out of the urban areas to serve in a more rural area. There was 6 of us in out two up/two down terrace; Mum, Dad, my two older brothers, my twin brother and me. Yes, there is another me! Ask people from Newport & Widdington how they thought I’d arrived for my licensing not robed but wearing a suit. I am the younger twin by 55 minutes, but more notably was born on a different day because we were born either side of midnight. Both my parents and eldest brother have passed away; my twin brother still lives in Dagenham and my older brother in Chelmsford. Essex boys to the end!
Before entering into training for ordained ministry in 2006 I worked largely in IT; first for the Co-operative Bank in Aldgate East and then for Capgemini. Twenty seven years in IT saw me working across the UK, e.g. Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Swansea, Teesside and Woking. I have also been fortunate to travel to Antwerp, Brussels, Dublin, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Zurich and other places in Holland & Switxerland. But please note I was a Project Manager; do not ask me to fix yout computer as the technicalities are as a mystery to me as they may be to you! I studied for ministry at Trinity Theological College, following with I served my curacy (training post) in North & South Wootton just north of Kings Lynn in Norfolk. I served there for three and a half years before moving to Newport in February 2012.
I’m single, but I am fortunate to have brothers close by and a number of friends around the UK which means I am sometimes visiting them or vice versa. I like to cook and am currently exploring recipes in my new Slimming World cookbooks. Yes, the new vicar is on a diet! I enjoy going to the cinema; in the past year some of us from the churches have had trips to the cinema to see ‘Star Trek’ or James Bond. I’ve to the theatres in Cambridge a couple of times too. I like to read, and have a number of James Patterson or Lee Child books to read, but I’m currently reading ‘Life of Pi’ after seeing the film last Christmas. I like to travel and my last big holiday was across the national parks and canyons in the USA – it was fantastic! I’m saving up for a big trip next year and have my eye on a holiday that takes in Dallas, the Alamo & New Orleans. I enjoy quizzes and am happy to run one for the church; just ask people in Widdington for whom I have run two this past year. I am passionate about youth work so hope to be involved with the schools. I am also passionate about those who are young at heart, or not so young at heart.
I know that many of you will be upset by Chris’s leaving but hopefully you are also looking forward to what happens next. I know I am.
Diocesan Safeguarding Policy
We are committed to Safeguarding children and young people and vulnerable adults.
The PCC has adopted the Church of England’s policies and best practice on safeguarding which may be found on the Church of England’s website: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/safeguarding
Our Parish Safeguarding Representative is:
Rev. Neil McLeod,
Saffron Walden, CB11 3QL
Telephone: 01799 540339
The Church of Quendon & Rickling complies with the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy.
Contact Safeguarding: email@example.com
The Quendon & Rickling 100 Club is a joint venture with the Village Hall Committee to help support the churches and village hall. Click here for more details including an entry form to print and fill in.
Here are some notes on the two church buildings.
Church of All Saints, Rickling
Welcome to All Saints Church, Rickling, one of the oldest churches in this area. The unusual size of the nave suggests a pre-Conquest plan; it is possible that worship has taken place here for over a thousand years. The name of the village is found in the Domesday Book (1086) as Richelinga. It is said to mean Ricela's or Ricola's people. Ricola was Queen of Essex in the 6th century.
The earliest remaining part of the present church is the 13th century lancet window in the west wall, which can be seen from the inside of the nave above the tower door.
The chancel was added about 1340 (the Early English period) and the south aisle and tower at the same time. Note how the chancel is not quite aligned with the nave. The chancel screen is 14th century. The east window is also 14th century and now contains 19th century glass in memory of General William Inglis, Lord of the Manor. There are three 14th century windows on the south side of the chancel and a doorway of the same date. The doorway into the tower from the nave probably dates from this period. Outside of the chancel door there is a Purbeck marble burial stone for Humfrey Waldene the First, the founder of the present church, dated c.1340.
The pulpit dating from the 15th century is a particularly fine example. The font is octagonal and made of coarse limestone in the 15th century. It stands on a possibly 14th century base. On the south side of the chancel is a tomb-chest with six quatrefoils with shields, these being the arms of the Langley and allied families, probably 15th century. Rickling Hall, a lovely Tudor brick house, was built to the south of the church around 1500 on the site of a fortified building with two moats.
The upper part of the tower which has battlements was added in the 16th century.
There is a ring of five bells in the tower, all of which may originally have been cast by Richard Keene in 1699/1700 (two have since been recast). All the old church registers dating from 1662 are in the Essex Record Office at Chelmsford.
The row of lime trees in the churchyard was planted by the vicar in 1836. They were the gift of Lord Braybrooke. There was a large restoration during this century when the vestry, organ chamber and south porch were added. The high altar has a wooden reredos, dating from 1879 and carved in Belgium. The central panel represents the adoration of the Lamb. All the nave windows and the south doorway are from the 19th century. The south window has glass in memory of the rev. John Collin who died in 1887. He was vicar here for 53 years and built the vicarage to the west of the church in 1847. This has been a private house since 1917.
The extension to the churchyard has been in use since 1917. The bells were rehung in 1928. The oldest person recorded as being buried here was Anne Judd in July 1940 at the age of 100. The modern hassocks in the nave were worked by parishioners around 1970, each representing a saint in reference to the church's dedication, All Saints. In 1978 rot and beetle in the wooden floor necessitated its removal and replacement by stone slabs at a cost of £3,337, including refurbishment of the pews. The work was extended to the choir stalls in 1980.
Major repairs to the roof, stonework and drainage started in the year 2000 at a cost of £36,000. Half of this was raised by parishioners with the balance coming from grants to this Grade I listed building. The Church Commissioners, as Lay Rector, funded the work on the chancel. Kneelers for the altar rail were worked by parishioners to celebrate the millennium and dedicated in June 2001. The south window just inside the main door was restored in 2003 at a cost of £8,000, and at the same time the vestry and organ chamber windows were restored by the generosity of a church benefactor.
From 1917 the Rector of Quendon was also the Vicar of Rickling. Sixty years later, on 1 November 1977, the Benefice of Quendon with Rickling and Wicken Bonhunt came in being. Fifteen years later, on 1 November 1992, Widdington joined, with the four parishes sharing one Rector until 2003. In September of that year a further reorganisation created the Benefice of Manuden with Berden and Quendon with Rickling, with one Priest in Charge. In 2013, following the retirement of the Revd Canon Chris Bishop, the parish of Quendon & Rickling left Manuden and Berden and rejoined Widdington in forming a new benefice with Newport under the incumbancy of the Rev. Neil McLeod.
Tourist or Pilgrim?
Whether you are a tourist who appreciates the historical importance of this ancient building, or a pilgrim who values the tranquillity and spirituality of this holy place as you pass by on your journey, please help us to maintain this church for future generations.
Church of Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Quendon
Work is in hand to provide information on this small but attractive church. However in the meantime the record of its grade II* listing notes: