Holy Cross church in Church Road, Basildon.
On 24th March
1950 the church, along with a number of others in the Basildon area, became a listed building on the
government departments' Ministry of Works list of buildings of historic interest. The church has
since become a Grade II* listed building.
The nave dates back at least 650 years and its impressive tower is also said to date from
the same period. The chancel was rebuilt in brick in 1597.
Garden of Remembrance
Basildon's first Garden of Remembrance was
created in the old churchyard. A 600 sq. ft. lawn with shrubs in each corner was
officially opened on 3rd May, 1970 by Rev. Brian Buxton in a special service attended by the Chairman
of Basildon Council, Fred Champ, M.B.E.
The former Basildon Rectory once stood in Rectory Road, Basildon, close to the junction with Church Road. It was demolished around 1960
as the site was required for the Ford Tractor plant which opened in 1964.
Rectory Road -
not to be confused with Rectory Road in Pitsea - originally ran between Pipps Hill Road and Gardiners Lane. In the early 1970s
during the creation of 'Aquatels Zoo and Ecology Centre' a small
section of the road at the Pipps Hills Road junction was retained and renamed Pipps Hill Close and diverted to open out into
Cranes Farm Road. This was still residential up to
the early 1970s when the last house was demolished to make way for the new zoo, which later became the Festival Leisure Hall
in the 1980s. In the late 1990s the Festival Leisure Park was created and all traces of the road disappeared. At the
Gardiners Lane South exit the road is still evident, though now called Gardiners Close. Here the road is sparsely residential
but in recent years is beginning to disappear as house development, as part of the long planned Gardiners Lane regeneration
scheme, starts to take shape.
In more recent times the church has been twinned with St. Andrew's in The Fremnells under the title St. Andrew's with Holy
The following is taken from the 1894 edition of Kelly's Directory of Essex.
The church of the Holy Cross,
standing on an eminence, is a building of brick and stone in the Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel, nave, south porch
and a western tower containing 3 bells, dated 1677 and 1756: in 1880 the chancel was thoroughly restored and new oak choir
stalls were introduced, the nave was thoroughly restored in 1888: a curious tablet on the north wall of the nave records that in
1702 the parishioners paid eleven shillings and sixpence in the pound, according to their rental, for the restoration of the
church. The register dates from 1707, previous entries having been made in the Laindon registers.
The rectory house was
built in 1869, by the late rector, assisted by a loan of £1,500 from Queen Anne's bounty.
The directory of 1914 includes parts of the 1894 description along with some additional information:
The church of the Holy
Cross, founded certainly before 1326 and probably much earlier, and standing on an eminence, is a structure of brick and stone
in the Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel, nave, south porch and a western tower of ragstone, with plain moulded
parapet, pyramidal roof with vane, and containing 3 bells, one with an ancient inscription to St. Katherine and two others dated
1677 and 1756: the porch is of open timber work with an elegantly cusped barge board: the chancel was rebuilt in 1597, by Arthur
Denham, the rector, of which there is a record in Latin on the east wall; in the church is a slab older than any visible part of the
fabric; it is of the 13th or early 14th century and a portion comprises " + ICI: GIST: MARGARETE" : in 1880 the chancel was
thoroughly thoroughly restored and new oak choir stalls were introduced; the nave was reseated in 1888: a curious tablet on the
north wall of the nave records that in 1702 the parishioners paid eleven shillings and sixpence in the pound, according to their
rental, for the restoration of the church. The register dates from 1707, previous entries having been made in the Laindon
The rectory house was built in 1859, by a former rector, assisted by a loan of £1,500 from Queen Anne's
List of St. Andrew's rectors from 1955:-
| John King (Priest-in-Charge)|| September 1955 - September 1961|
| Colin Shaw|| January 1956|
| Keith Wood|| December 1961 - April 1970|
| Peter Fisher|| September 1970 - February 1972|
| Owen Leigh-Williams|| June 1972 - October 1985|
| Tony Matty|| April 1987 - June 1992|
| John Carr|| September 1993 - September 2005|
| Margaret Shaw|| November 2006 - May 2016|
| Jane Richards|| 19th July, 2017 -|
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