Building » Tiptree – St John Houghton

Tiptree – St John Houghton

Church Road, Tiptree, Essex CO5

A self-build project of the late 1970s, directed by an architect and retired builder.

The construction of the church was a parish self-build project, led by David Bartlett, architect, and Jim Samuels, a retired builder. Construction took place in 1978-79, the first Mass being said in the (unfinished) church on 11 May 1979. The official opening was on 6 October 1980. A document in a scrapbook held in the church names Evelyn Tramaseur as a major donor. The church is dedicated to St John Houghton, a Carthusian native to Essex who was executed at Tyburn in 1535, and one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales canonised in 1970. Tiptree is served from Kelvedon.


The church is essentially a large timber-framed structure, externally largely clad in black stained weatherboarding, under a slate roof (with a flat central section). It is lit by large areas of glass at the east and west ends. Inside, the substantial posts of the frame divide the space loosely into a nave and aisles, with a narrower sanctuary at the east end with sacristy beyond. A kitchen and WC gives off the west end of the south ‘aisle’. Folding timber partitioning allows the sanctuary to be closed off so that the main space can be used for secular events. Seating consists of individual chairs, to ease flexibility. Furnishings are generally catalogue items, not of particular note.

Heritage Details

Architect: David Bartlett

Original Date: 1979

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed