All Saints’ Church (CO7 0RZ) is the older church in Brightlingsea and is a grade 1 listed building dating back to the 12th century and set in a six acre churchyard. It is well maintained and is the venue for the majority of weddings and funerals. It is right on the borders of the parish and some distance from the majority of housing. It is featured in “England’s thousand best churches” by Simon Jenkins. This parish church is held in much affection by the townspeople and is used regularly for worship throughout the year.
A unique feature of All Saints’ Church is the frieze in which are set some 212 tiles, each one bearing the name of a Brightlingsea man lost at sea since the year 1872, together with the name of the ship on which they served.
The memorial was the idea of the vicar of Brightlingsea, the Reverend Arthur Pertwee, after the tragic loss of 36 men of our fishing fleet that year in severe storms in the North Sea. He was assisted in this by Mr William Stammers, Church Warden and Mr Arthur Blyth, who wrote the inscriptions. The tiles have continued to be added to up to the present time.