St. Mary’s Church is the oldest church building in Felixstowe, and Christians met here from a village called Waletuna.
The whole area was known as Walton. The name Felixstowe only came much later. The Doomsday Survey of 1086 mentions the church at Walton ‘with 8 acres valued at 16 pence’ – we guess it is worth a bit more now!! There was probably a wooden Saxon church on the site long before 1086.
The village of Walton would have looked very different from today. The total population, including children, would only have been about 150 altogether by the year 1400.
The church building itself has of course also been altered drastically over the years. There is a bricked-up doorway in the south-east wall which was probably the entrance from outside to the 14th Century chancel. The present church of today was undoubtedly grafted on to the ruins of the 14th Century building. The old font in the church dates from about 1460.
In 1611 the Authorised Version of the Bible was published, and in July 1619 a beautiful copy was presented to St. Mary’s
Church and is still preserved in a glass case in the chancel. The old tower of the church was struck by lightning and the remains of the buttress of this can still be seen today, on the left as you go into the main part of the church. The new tower was added just over 100 years ago in 1899.
The church here today continues to be a place where Christians meet together to worship God and to learn more about Jesus.
Lots of lively children and adults come here regularly and we would be pleased to welcome you too if you would like to join us.
If you would like to know more of the background then a 46-page book on the history of St Mary’s and Walton is available from the church.