Revd Derek’s refurbished mobile toilet cabin will be blessed by Bishop Stephen Cottrell
24th Apr 2018
Twice a month semi-retired farmer and roofer Revd Derek Clark sets off from his farm on his tractor and drives three miles down winding country lanes to church with a 23 foot long refurbished toilet cabin in tow.
Medieval All Saints’ Church in the hamlet of Ulting near Chelmsford has no WC or kitchen. So Derek purchased the former showground cabin and spent a year lovingly converting it to provide seating and a kitchen as well as WC facilities for his congregation to use. Now Bishop Stephen Cottrell will be going to Ulting to bless the mobile welfare unit outside the church.
“I have blessed many things in my time,” said Bishop Stephen “but this is a first for me.”
Derek Clark explained: “All Saints is a lovely medieval building in a beautiful location with the River Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation running by. It is tiny and charming.
“But the church is a family. And the church building is the place where the family meets. I just wanted to give the church family at Ulting a basic level of comfort to meet 21st century expectations. I am blessed with a wonderful church family. It is an absolute joy and privilege to minister to them. And everyone is welcome in this church.
“Other road users are very gracious and give way to me. But a got a puzzled look from the driver of a police car one Sunday when he saw this very long cabin coming towards him towed by a man on a tractor with a dog collar on.”
The unit has proved popular since it started being used at church services and events last year.
“We have enjoyed a pet service the local children asked for and a concert of music by the river. Bacon butties are a definite hit. I am happy that the Bishop approves. The ribbon-cutting and blessing will be a red letter day for us.”
Derek Clark, a local resident since boyhood, is Associate Priest at Hatfield Peverel St Andrew with Ulting All Saints and Associate Priest of Wickham Bishops with Little Braxted.
He served as Assistant Curate in these parishes after being Ordained in 2014 at Chelmsford Cathedral.
The Service with Bishop of Chelmsford Stephen Cottrell will be held at All Saints’ Church in Ulting on Sunday 29 April 2018 at 9.00 am. Bacon sandwiches will be served at about 10.15 am.
Services of Holy Communion are held at All Saints on the first, third and fifth Sundays of the month. A Service of Prayer is held on the second Sunday. The church is popular for weddings and baptisms.
The 23' long by 7' wide welfare unit is used at Ulting Church for church services but it is kept at Derek’s farm in Hatfield Peverel.
Churches and their facilities are listed on the website www.achurchnearyou.com.