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Andrei  Petrine

Andrei Petrine is crowdfunding

raised of £1,000 target by 34 supporters

Weʼre raising £1,000 to Help install camera's and lights at St Nicholas Church

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Crowdfunding is a new type of fundraising where you can raise funds for your own personal cause, even if you're not a registered nonprofit.

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The arson attack that took place recently at the cemetery of St. Nicholas Church in Laindon has sent shockwaves through the local community. The fire ravaged over an acre of the churchyard land set aside for conservation, where many ancient and historic graves are still preserved.

Many of those ancient headstones are now scorched and marked by the fire at its worst.

This is just the most recent blow in an ongoing struggle to protect and preserve the church at St Nicholas.

This despicable act highlighted an ongoing problem with vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the grounds of our centuries-old and very beautiful church. To give an idea of the heartbreaking damage we see on a regular basis, mature hedges are trampled on and torn up, the wooden benches and funerary flower vases and their contents are spitefully broken and senselessly thrown around. Because they are comparatively isolated, these holy grounds inevitably attract disturbances and criminality under cover of darkness, and are often used as a place for late night parties where drinking and drug taking lead to yet further acts of desecration. We are heartbroken by these sacrilegious acts, and we cannot tolerate the extreme abuse our church is suffering any longer.

The Church on the Hill, as St. Nicholas is often called, stands amidst panoramic views over the countryside on all sides; it is truly a ‘high place, a sacred place inviting people to sit and find rest in a green and pleasant setting, amidst birdsong and breezes stirring the many trees, where peace and a glorious sense of God’s creation are freely given. It is not widely known that the churchyard incorporates a wild life reserve and conservation zone, where all kinds of flora and fauna thrive, undisturbed by the modern world’s hustle and bustle. But above all, the Church on the Hill is a symbol of true peace, tranquility and refreshment for the soul, open to all and especially for the local community who can see it from afar, a landmark of hope in a troubled world.

Many are the residents who have loved ones buried in the grounds of this unique church, who have had their children baptized or have been baptized themselves, who have been married here, and yes, who have often experienced life-changing events linked with the spirituality of this holy and special place. St Nicholas welcomes pilgrims from around the world who come in search of family graves, and of war graves from as far back as the Great War; they come to pay their respects and for many, it may be their only opportunity, to come halfway round the world to a little corner of Essex. The church at St Nicholas is a reassuring reminder of the love and respect due to those we have lost – so we are keenly aware that it is a duty and a privilege to protect the graves and the grounds in which they remain.

In the wake of this devastating event, St. Nicholas’ congregation now sends out a heartfelt plea to all local residents for their help in starting a support group for the upkeep and protection of the Church building and its grounds. Whether it be a donation of funds to help us install much-needed CCTV, to upgrade our exterior lighting, or one of the many other financial demands that are never-ending in an eight hundred year-old church, or a donation of time or skills, please consider joining our recently organized Friends of St. Nicholas Charity. All offers of practical help, not just of financial aid (though that is equally welcome), are received with gratitude and appreciation. The Friends of St Nicholas is for anyone who feels strongly about preserving and protecting this wonderful and sacred space. If anyone reading this feels that they can offer help in the important and year-round tasks of maintaining the extensive grounds of the church, gardening, or generally looking out for and looking after any aspects of the church building, then please don’t hesitate – get in touch.

The immediate need is for ground clearance after the awful arson attack, for CCTV cameras and enough lighting to make this place secure and safe in the evening.

This appeal is going out for all willing hands to help, in whatever way you can.

The Church on the Hill needs you. If you can help in any way please contact Reverend Andrei Petrine on 01268 411190 or email

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    Page last updated on: 12/1/2020 18.50



    • Sherrill Pledger

      Sherrill Pledger

      Dec 1, 2020

      I hope that this helps towards keeping the church and the cemetery safe.


    • John Seager

      John Seager

      Nov 27, 2020

      Praying for you as always


    • Susi Nelson

      Susi Nelson

      Nov 25, 2020

      I sung in the choir at this beautiful church during the 70s and was married in the church in 1986.Such a beautiful place I have very fond memories.


    • Anonymous


      Nov 24, 2020

      From a friend in Tucker, Georgia, USA


    • Francesco


      Nov 24, 2020

      I'm glad that this idea I suggested was taken seriously. Fantastic support that you've had. Its incredible. Let's get these little reckless people once and for all. Kind regards Francesco :)


    • Anonymous


      Nov 21, 2020

      I attended St. Nicholas when young and lived in Pound Lane, and got married there in 1959. My mother and grand parents are buried in the church yard.


    • Joan Williams

      Joan Williams

      Nov 18, 2020

      I grew up in Laindon - Met and married my late Husband at St.Nicholas Church in 1962. He now rests in the Churchyard along with some family members buried there in the past.


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