Set in the middle of the development of Martlesham Heath, next door to the Douglas Bader pub and flanking the village green, you will find the church of St Michael and All Angels. This is truly a community building, the response to a challenge to build a church for a new community and a memorial to all those who flew from this place.
Largely funded by money raising efforts by the local community, along with a few small grants and £100,000 from the diocese, it was officially dedicated on 30th March 1991 by Bishop John Dennis, who had turned the first sod on the site.
Named after the patron saint of aviators, for Martlesham Heath was the site of an airfield from 1913 to 1963 and saw many early aircraft development tests and wartime action, the church fulfils that challenge well.
Entering through the wooden and glass doors you come into the vestibule, which leads into two other areas – an airy high-ceilinged main hall with stackable chairs and doors opening onto the green, and a smaller more intimate space with more substantial seating which is used for midweek services. Between these areas is a wooden screen that can be folded back on a Sunday to create a large worship space. The limed oak font, lectern, Communion table and chairs were made for us by David Goldsmith, a local craftsman.
In the smaller area is a high window with a modern stained glass panel commemorating all those who flew from the airfield during its history, most of which was spent as an aircraft testing facility.
In the cabinet beneath is a Roll of Honour to those in the 356th US Fighter Wing who lost their lives flying from here in World War Two.
Opening off the hall area are two committee rooms, a good sized modern kitchen, and a self-contained extension, all of which are used on a Sunday by our Junior Church.
The whole community was involved in bringing this ambitious building into being, and we are pleased that the Church Centre is now being used for the benefit of the whole community. Many groups and outside organisations hold meetings and events here throughout the week, and we are privileged to be able to offer hospitality to many people who would not normally come into a church.
You are assured of a warm welcome at any of our services or other events. St Michael’s is open for refreshments and fellowship every weekday morning (except Tuesday) from 10am until 12 noon.
Facilities: sound system, audio loop, level access, toilets, kitchen, parking.