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St Martin's Church

Known locally as the “Admirals’ Church”, St Martins houses the Family crypts and memorials to both Admiral Broke and Admiral Vernon. Edward Vernon Of Orwell Park was famous for sea campaigns against the French and Spanish in the mid-18thcentury and was known as “Old Grog” who watered down the rum ration to sailors. Philip Broke of Broke Hall commanded HMS Shannon, defeating and capturing USS Chesapeake in the American War of 1812.

Rector - Rev Canon Ian Wilson - 01473 659875, or click here to email.


For routine St Martin's matters, contact the Church Warden

Joe Liggett  on 01473 659837 or email HERE.


Everyone is welcome, services are held usually every fortnight. Benefice service information can be found on the the Benefice Facebook page, alternatively if you wish to receive email notification of services & times please contact St Martin's Treasurer


 Churches open for private prayer

The PCC will aim to keep the church open between 9.30am and 4.30pm daily


The Church can be used for funerals, and the Churchyard for burials, cremations take place at the crematorium. The Rev, Ian Wilson should be initially contacted to discuss any requirements


Contactless giving

Donations can be made to St Martin's Church online using the Give a Little link.


You can still enjoy services and other worship provision by

clicking on Church-Online


St Martin's WhatsApp group

St Martin's PCC has established a WhatsApp group to share information related to the Church and it's services, if you would like more information about this and to be included in the WhatsApp group, please email Oliver Riches via stmartinswhatsapp@owdr.co.uk who will share the Acceptable Use Policy and can add you to the group as required.


Click on Electoral Roll to view the 2022 revised version.


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A brief look at the history of St Martin's

Michael Thuell, local author of the successful "Plain  Thoughts From The Back Pew", has written an excellent history of Nacton Church from which the following is taken

The church has been used for worship for over 800 years. A “homely and welcoming appearance” is created by the cream rendering while the quality and extent of the timberwork enhance the building.

Difficult to date, as the building has been much altered and rebuilt since the late 12th or early 13th centaury, the original nave and tower are probably the oldest parts. Evidenced by early window forms and the design of the tower, which is buttressed and entered by a small door accessed only by a ladder, may indicate a more defensive use than now occurs. Extensive work on the building has been recorded between 1820 and 1870 when the ceilings, pews and some windows and fittings were replaced and a small chapel built for the Broke family on the south side of the nave. However the church was generally in very poor repair.

The major restoration of 1906/8 is mostly what we see today. Substantial donations from local families, the Petyman’s of Orwell Park Estate and de Saumarez of Broke Hall, helped to pay for the renewal of much of the roof, floor, porch, pews and windows, and the restoration of the chapels. This has provided a wealth of features and memorials for the visitor to enjoy.

Suffolk Church towers are, confusingly, often called steeples. So, in 1803, officers of the 7th Hussars decided on a moonlight race from their barracks in Ipswich to Nacton Church steeple. Wearing white night caps and gowns so they could be seen, the officers terrorised the villagers with their clatter in deciding which horse was the best. The sport of “steeplechase” was born.

If you would like to know more of the history of Nacton and St Martin’s, there is an excellent booklet by Michael Thuell available in the church, and further information can be found in Roy Tricker’s “History and Guide” of 1983.

For a closer look - click on Simon Knott's site - Suffolk Churches