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    Rating Key

    ***** Outstanding
    **** Excellent
    *** Good
    ** Quite interesting
    * Not very interesting but worthy of inclusion


    5 Open for long periods, or key readily available
    4 May be open for long periods, but best to check beforehand
    3 Uncertain opening times
    2 Closed for all or most of the time other than for services
    1 Closed at all times

Site: The Orthodox Parish of St Helen of Colchester
Denomination: Orthodox
Type: Church
Famous Connections: William Butterfield, architect
Period: Saxon, Norman, 14th Century, 16th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century

Features: Small, with icons and much colour

Location: 51 miles NE of London by the A12.


There may well have been a pre-Norman church on this site that was restored in1076. By the early 14th century the building seems to have been a chantry, which was dissolved in the 16th century. This was followed by a period of changing fortunes for the building, including perhaps use as a private residence, a school, a library, a Quaker meeting house, and a warehouse or workshop. It was restored as a place of worhip by William Butterfield in the 1880s. The Orthodox Parish of St Helen was established in 1996, and the present chapel began to be used, by virtue of an initially short-term agreement with the authorities concerned, in 2000. The church is located in an area of considerable Christian activity, with a former chapel and chapel school and a Quaker Meeting House nearby, all in the shadow of the castle. The interior of the church is characteristically Orthodox, with icons and much colour, and a deep sense of sanctity.

Address: St Helen, Maidenburgh Street, off the High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UB
Phone Number: 01206 530530

Rating: ***

Open: 4