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Trails march on across churches in the area after Theydon Bois opening

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For 90 children from Theydon Bois Primary School it was a day out with a licence to explore their village church. For the invited guests it was the opening of the first church trail in the Chelmsford Diocese developed by the Arts Society West Essex. 


The chief executive of The Arts Society, Florian Schweizer, joined the Bishop of Chelmsford, The Right Reverend Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, Rev John Fry, Vicar of the Theydon Parishes, and Mr Andre Rall. Headteacher of Theydon Bois Primary School with some 90 pupils for the opening of the The Arts Society West Essex first Church Trail at St Mary’s, Theydon Bois today (Monday). The children gave the new church trail a hearty thumbs up after giving it a thorough 'road trial'. Said the Vicar, “Anything which gets young people into a church to discover more about it is certainly a winner.”


The trail was the first for The Arts Society West Essex whose volunteers completed, over 10 years, detailed records for all its local churches which will speed the process of now constructing church trails. The new project, led by local resident Diana Meteyard, intends to include Copped Hall, a community restoration project of a Manor House gutted by fire in 1917, and the group has already started work on other churches in the neighbourhood.

Since completing the first Church Trail at Theydon Bois the group has completed similar projects for churches at Stapleford Tawney, Theydon Garnon, High Beech and St. John's, Epping. Work is also progressing on a trail for the gardens at Copped Hall.

If you are interested in becoming involved in TASWE’s next TRAIL OF DISCOVERY please contact or 01992 812465.  If you would like to see the completed trail it will be attached to St Mary’s church website and on

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16 May 2022

Pupils of Theydon Bois Primary School explore the pulpit at St. Mary's, Theydon Bois while road trialling the new church trail developed by The Arts Society, West Essex

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Florian Schweizer, ceo of The Arts Society, chats with Bishop of Chelmsford, The Right Reverend Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, during the Church Trail launch

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Bishop of Chelmsford lends her Mitre to a pupil of Theydon Bois Primary School

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The official launch party for The Arts Society West Essex church trail for St. Mary’s, Theydon Bois.  From left: Deputy Head Teacher Miss Williams, Project co-ordinator Diana Meteyard, Hugh Meteyard, Bishop of Chelmsford, Vicar of St. Mary’s, John Fry, Sheila Turnbull, project artist and illustrator plus pupils from Theydon Bois Primary.

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Florian Schweizer, ceo of The Arts Society, with Theydon Bois Primary School children road trialling the West Essex Arts Society church trail at St. Mary's, Theydon Bois, 16 May 2022.

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