Thursday the 15th of May saw the second 'Gepp Lecture' at the Friends of Essex Churches Trusts Annual General Meeting. Held in the C12 St Andrews Church, Hatfield Peverel, The lecture was in remembrance of the late Thomas Gepp - Partner of Gepp & Sons from 1950 to 1986 and founding member of the Trust.
The Friends of Essex Churches Trust is a registered charity set up in 1951. It raises money for grants to repair and restore Christian churches and chapels in Essex and five London boroughs. The restoration of these historical monuments ensures their preservation for future generations to enjoy. The Trust is non-denominational.
Essex has many historic ecclesiastical buildings in constant need of repair. One of the oldest churches in England is St Peters, set in the coastal village of Bradwell on Sea. St Peters is a Grade I listed church founded by St Cedd in 653 AD.
This year's 'Gepp Lecture' was presented by Rt Revd Graeme Knowles CVO, formerly Bishop of Sodor and Man and Dean of St Paul's. Revd Knowles spoke wittily and knowledgeably about “Why do church buildings still have such a pull on people?” as well as the problems of caring for church buildings and the need for churches to look for constant renewal.
The audience of Trust members and guests, all interested in the preservation of historical monuments, were treated to many quoted from church related poems by T.S. Eliot (far too many to be repeated).
Last year saw the first 'Gepp Lecture' delivered by the renowned journalist and columnist Simon Heffer.