St.Alban's is a living church which serves the community and on this blog and its attached pages you will find details of the church both past and present and how to contact us. Some pages are still under construction so please bear with us for a while.

When you click a link on this page it will take you to another page with the same heading. You will need to scroll down to find the information you require.

Another purpose of this blog is to provide a genealogical guide to the church of St.Alban the Martyr which is situated in St.John's Road, Westcliff on Sea, Essex. Like many churches it contains a wealth of material of interest to people studying local history and family history. It is our intention to provide, as best we can, information about the many people who are commemorated in this beautiful church. Obviously this is a work in progress and the project has only just begun so we ask for your patience. If you have, or think you might have, historical connections with the church, we'd love to hear from you.


There are various other memorials within the church which record the names of the departed - former worshipers at the church or members of their families. We are trying to list all those that we are aware of but advise that the lists below may not yet be complete. The listing of a name below does not preclude an article about the person appearing in the main body of the blog, nor, sadly, does it nescessarily mean that we always have further information.

You will also find listed below various other items and artifacts of historical interest.

 The statue of St. Alban which stands in the south aisle of the church originally stood in a niche in the wall of the former rectory which is situated behind the church. When the rectory was sold the statue was transferred to the church, thanks mainly to the persistent efforts of churchwarden Denes Hitel on behalf of the congregation.

One of the earliest and most valuable acquisitions by the church was the alabaster font with its oaken cover. This was a gift from the Rector and Churchwardens of St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, London in  1898.Font of St Alban's It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren (1631-1723), who rebuilt  St. Mary -le-Bow after the Great Fire of London.

An Inscription round the top of the bowl  can be read the legend: "The gift of Francis Dashwood Esq. 1675. Dashwood was a wealthy London mechant engaged in the Levantine trade. When the church of St Mary-le-Bow was restored in 1881 this font was considered too small for the renovated building and was stored in the crypt where Sir Charles Nicholson discovered it and suggested to the priest in charge of St Albans that it might be purchased for the new Parish Church. When the application was made, the Rector wrote to  Fr. E.E. Kimber intimating that his Vestry would be willing to present the disused font to St Albans Church. He also undertook to carry out the arrangements for the transport of the font to its present home.

St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside was a casualty of the blitz. It's Wren tower survived but the rest was more or less rubble. The architect responsible for the rebuilding sought the help of the Central  Council for the Care of Churches in the matter of the font, saying that the parishioners "would very much like to recover their original one. It seems to me most desirable that it should go back to its original setting if it is at all possible."  St. Mary-le-Bow would pay for a replacement. 

When the request was made to St.Alban's Fr.Mann hastily called a meeting of the PCC.  He reported to his Archdeacon on 16th June 1954 that "This council unanimously resolve to retain possession of the Font, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and presented to the church of St.Alban the Martyr, Westcliff, at Epiphany 1899, by the then Rector and Churchwardens of St.Mary-Le-Bow, Cheapside

Among the statements at the meeting - not always accurate, not always logical and certainly not always charitable - were a comment that the Cheapside church had valued the font so highly it had dumped it for twenty years and "It really is a bit much to give a present in 1899 and ask for it back in 1954!"  The Wren connection was noted with the tart rider "Their present building is a copy and therefore they can make do with a copy of our font!"  Fr.Mann summed up the view of the PCC as "What we have we hold."  The font remains in St.Albans.

To the right of the great west window there are three plaques, these are dedicated to Emily Eliza and Lewis Cyril Farquhar WILSON to David GAGE (a former Churchwarden and furniture dealer who had a shop in Milton Road) and to Cathy Joanne HEBDEN (1961-1999). To the left of the west window are plaques in memory of  Henry Wolton WINMILL the first Churchwarden of this church who died and Alexander Middleton, vicar's warden 1904-1914 who died 1922.

On the North Wall there are three plaques situated in The Memorial Chapel (The Chapel of The Holy Name).  One is in memory of Clifford John VARNEY (as is the lamp above it) and another is to Theresa Joan BURKETT, bother former members of the congregation. The largest of the three is in memory of Eric Tomlinson MARTIN, a server at the church, who was killed during The Great War.

On the South Wall under one of the windows there is a plaque in memory of Rev. William Wordsworth TALFOURD (1851-1900) - see: STAINED GLASS

Some people like to commemorate their loved ones by donating a chair to the church. Chairs which are donated in this way carry a small plaque on the back stating the name of the person in whose memory the chair was donated. The chairs at St.Alban's are upholstered in three colours, Red, Blue and Brown. Here is a list of all donated chairs :


ALDRICK, Daisy Jane
ARTHUR, Edmund James
BETTS, Edith Rose
BRITNOR, Dorothy
BRUHL, Bobby
HARRIS, Winifred 
HEBDEN, Cathy Joanne
HITEL, Denes
KINSEY, Edith Mary 
LAWRENCE, Laura & Henry 
McDOWELL, Ethel May
MEARS, Yvonne
MOORE, John & Mary
RICE, Winifred
SEARS, Elizabeth B.
TURTON, Wallace
WALKER, Peter Westlake
WISEMAN, Evelyn May
WRIGHT, Marc James


ALCOCK, Edward
BRACKLEY, Ivy Sarah Catherine
BRITNOR, Leonard
DENNINGTON, Charles & Edith
ELDERTON, Ethel Rose
ELDERTON, Francis William
EMPTAGE, Samuel & Martha
FIELD, Violet
GORNALL, A. Louisa
KILLMASTER, Alice and Frederick
MITCHELL, Dorothy Darling
MOORE, John & Mary
SAGE, Florence Theresa


BAKER, Jimmy
COSTIN, Edward & Alice
HUGHES, Rev. James
SEAGER, Lilian
TEAL, John Wynn

The flower stands were donated in memory of Theresa Joan BURKETT (1938-2009)

Above the organ which is situated in The Lady Chapel is a small ceramic plaque in memory of George B. LINCH (1931-1975) a former organist. There is also a plaque of the side of the organ telling of its restoration in memory of Lily VINCENT.

The organ itself was built in 1911 by the firm of William Hill at a cost of £1,000. It is a tribute to the quality of the craftsmanship that despite the ravages of time and the exposure to years of incense, not to mention the effects of central heating, the organ is still going strong over one hundred years later.

STAINED GLASS WINDOWS : See separate page (currently being prepared).

There are two votive candle stand were people can light candles in memory of the deceased or as special prayers.  The circular stand is in memory of Silvia SPEAKMAN (1922-1984) and the bow shaped stand in memory of Carey Austin (1881-1978)


Each year the Parish of Southend arranges a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk. The figure of Our Lady in the Lady Chapel of St.Alban's is dedicated to the memory of Bill Sanders, former Sacristan of the church. CLICK HERE to visit the Shrine website.

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful way off making us realize that a church is not the building, though St Albans is a beautiful church, but its the congregation that makes it a special place to worship. It is also essential that we remember the brave men and women who gave there lives for this country God Bless them. I would like to thank Ernest the writer and producer of this blog and Keith who is helping him with the research for this important and interesting blog.