I've lived in East Suffolk all my life but I had to look on a map to find out how to get to Hoo.
A very unusual dedication........St Eustachius?
This is what Simon Knott says on the Suffolk Churches website
The dedication is unique, but I am afraid that it is not authentic. The medieval dedication may have been to St Eustace, or it may have been that there was a shrine altar to that minor saint here. After the Reformation, church dedications fell into disuse. But the Enlightenment of the 18th century saw a renewed interest in history. The modern dedication arises from a double (possibly triple) error of those days. Firstly, a misreading of 'St Eustace' by the antiquarian Browne Willis, working in the records office at Norwich Cathedral in the 1720s, and a confusion by him of Hoo in Suffolk with Hoe in Norfolk, where the medieval church was dedicated to St Andrew. He may have missed the actual dedication completely, and many of these documents are now lost. So, he conflated the two Saints into an undeniably attractive and interesting combination. When the dedications of Anglican parish churches were restored to them through the enthusiasm of the Oxford Movement in the 19th century, this was based on the work of these well-meaning but inaccurate antiquarians; Willis had published his results as Parochiale Anglicanuum in 1733. Some errors were corrected by the 1780s, when Bacon's Liber Regis was published. But not this one.
It's been very unusual to find anyone in a church when I've visited, especially the tiny village churches, but here I found an elderly lady doing some cleaning before their twice-a-month service.
So it was nice to chat about why I was there and find out a bit about the village........One of the smallest populations in Suffolk - about 20 people. The church was nearly closed in the 1970's but managed to hang on, it's very plain and simple but obviously well loved. The lady said they get lots of visitors.
Red brick tower dating from the C16
The reason this church get a mention in the 100 treasures book is due to the very old.....C17 and C18, chancel furnishings. This is where the congregation would "Draw near with faith" to receive the Holy Communion. The communion rails protecting the sacred space.
These paintings fixed to the pulpit are modern icons, gifted to the church by a Greek family who have had the name Eustachius in their family for 100s of years.
First the C2 Roman soldier martyr.
And the more well known St Andrew
This amazing solid iron bound chest dating back to the C13 is now used by the church wardens to store the vases and Christmas decorations. The lady told me she can only just manage to lift the lid.
A Tudor rose on the font dating to C15 with its new font cover, which was given in memory of a villager, not many years ago and replacing an old metal cover, which now stands by the wall.
Under the Victorian boarding are six old tie beams. On one is a brass plaque with the date 1595. It is thought that the date is carved on one of the beams, now hidden.
A very simple church, no coloured glass, no fancy fittings. The pews are Victorian and the pulpit from the 1700's. The lady dusting said she has to make sure to dust the pulpit because although the vicars or preachers rarely use it, one day it was used and as everyone looked at the vicar they could see the sun shining on cobwebs under the bible stand!
I only noticed the basket of courgettes when I loaded the photo onto here......wonder if it was ready for a harvest festival?