The church of St. Mary the Virgin in Church Road, Dunton closed
to services around 1979.
The condition of the church had been causing concern for many years
and although it had been included on the Ministry of Works buildings of historic interest list, in
1968 the Lay Commission on Churches advised it be pulled down.
Following an Order-in-Council of 25 July, 1978 the
former Dunton parish was now united with Laindon and the church became a chapel of ease (a church building other than the
main church) before the Church Commissioners applied to have it declared redundant which was
granted with effect fron 1st August, 1980 (under an Order-in-Council of 28th July, 1980). See notes (1) and (2).
closure the building and churchyard was left to the mercy of the
elements and vandals. The Church Commissioners recommended it become a private residence, and though
the first planning application in June 1984 failed, the building was saved from possible demolition
when it was sold on 25th June 1985. Following the sale the church was restored for use as a private
residence which it remains to this day.
One of the last resident Rector's, if not the last,
was the Rev. I. Frank James, when the church served the parish of Dunton and Bulphan.
Nicholas church in Laindon now serves the parish of Laindon with Dunton.
(1) Source: London Gazette issue No. 48268, page 10888, published 01/08/1980.
(2) Edition No. 48278 of
the London Gazette dated 14/08/1980 issued a notice in substitution
to that which appeared on page 10888 of the 1st August edition. This didn't affect the wording
of the St. Mary the Virgin entry which remained the same as the earlier edition.
(3) The church received listed
status on 4th July 1955.