St Peter’s Church

Thundersley, Essex

Situated just outside of Southend, this tiny village church was becoming overwhelmed by a rapidly growing congregation. A decision to extend an earlier building was made based on a need for a church almost three times the size of the original medieval building, and the wish to retain what was the only important historic structure in the area

Donald Insall Associates created a striking new nave and sanctuary to replace a Victorian chancel, with the medieval structure forming a narthex and antechapel. Modern materials, including laminated timber arches made to the same pitch as that of the existing church, cedar joinery, decking and shingles, clay bricks and handmade tiles, were selected to harmonise with the original building without being imitative. The lychgate and major trees surrounding the churchyard have been retained.