The village of Hoo lies in the picturesque Deben Valley with its eastern and northern boundaries bordered by the river Deben.
Its small church of St. Andrew and St. Eustachius is found in the narrow lane leading from Hoo Green to Hoo Hall.
A Church has stood on this site since before the 1086 Doomsday Survey when in Saxon times the Manor of Hoo was held by the Abbot of Ely. It consists of a south porch, western tower, nave and chancel.
The western tower is constructed of Tudor brick. Its spiral staircase leads to the belfry which contains a single bell of 15th century vintage. The cracked bell was replaced in 1985.
The interior of the church is extremely simple. The original character of the tie beams at eaves level is concealed behind Victorian boarding, on one of which is a framed date of 1595. There is no division between nave and chancel, but the position of the rood stairs in the south wall and the absence, through levelling, of the chancel steps, indicate that one may have existed at an earlier date.
The “Y” traceried windows in the south and east wall and west tower wall are 13th century. The remaining decorative windows are 14th century.
At the west end of the nave stands the early East Anglian font. Although badly defaced, often attributed to the Puritan Will Dowsing, it still holds its charm and grace. According to the Dowsing records, he certainly ordered the breaking down of a superstitious brass inscription and eight pictures, together with the levelling of the chancel steps.
The Lord's Prayer, Creed and Ten Commandments, framed in mahogany, hangs on the north wall – it was once fixed to the east wall above the communion table. Against the north wall stands the 14th century wooden chest with its heavy iron strapping and hasps. In times past this probably held safe the church plate. On the south wall above the small table is a roll of honour listing the name of 26 men of this parish who served during the 1914-1918 war.
Hoo church was featured in Sir Peter Hall’s film “Akenfield” produced in 1973 and based on Ronald Blythe’s book “Akenfield – Portrait of an English Village".
Churchwardens of St Andrew & St Eustachius - Hoo:
Perry Branton 01473 737 483
Margaret Doe 01473 737238
Parish Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org