Welcome to Sussex Parish Churches

Important note about the site

As regular users of the site will know, it has been inaccessible for several months after a serious hack led to its closure. Virtually all the text has now been recovered from the wreck and the site has been thoroughly redesigned. Though it now looks rather different, it is usable again.

Unfortunately some small corruptions of the text have still to be eradicated and the rate of error and disappearance amongst the images has been rather higher. There are some other glitches that have to be corrected, principally internal links which I am working my way through, but I have not found anything that presents real difficulties of comprehension. Hence the site is going live despite the remaining shortcomings which I shall be rectifying as soon as possible. Pessimistically , given the amount of time I can devote to the site on top of a more or less full-time job, this is likely to take several months at least. Fuller details of the problems and how the work of rectification is going can be found under ‘latest updates’.

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The website aims to provide a study of the architectural development of each Anglican parish church and as many subsidiary chapels as possible in Sussex (which has practically the same boundaries as the Diocese of Chichester). In the case of churches built in the last 200 years, there may be less architectural development to consider and entries may focus more on the effectiveness of  the design itself.  Wherever possible, there is also a record of the contents and fittings of a church, though much is anonymous.  Such work is only included if it is in some way out of the ordinary.

I started research in 1975 and have continued, with one longish gap, ever since. During this time, each church has been visited at least twice. There is a wide range of literature about many churches and the items I have used are noted under each church.

JOHN ALLEN

Range

There are probably nearly 500 Anglican parish churches, ranging in date from, at the earliest, the Eighth Century to the present.  The precise quantity depends on whether you include chapelries within a larger parish and churches no longer in use or demolished. The aim of this website is to include as many as possible, though demolished and disused churches may be covered in less detail.

Most mediaeval churches show architectural features distinctive to the area and those built in the Nineteenth Century include some of the finest in the country, especially in the towns on the coast.

Also included are notes on those who worked on the churches, as architects or designers of fittings and stained glass.  Though not many names are known earlier than about 1800, the aim has been to include all those who can be identified as having worked on one or more Sussex church.  They can be accessed under either by using the ARCHITECTS AND ARTISTS links above or by the link provided from each entry for a church (Please note: due to the issues we have had most links are broken. I am working my way through fixing these – please bear with me) .

Scope

The description of each church covers its architectural development and what can be found out about its fittings and stained glass – plate is excluded as it is hardly ever on display; so are organs and bells, unless they have a direct bearing on the development of the church.  Churches, mostly mediaeval, that have a complex development are preceded by brief summaries.  Depending on what you need to know, these may be helpful.

The notes on architects etc vary considerably in length.  In the case of the very eminent, there may be little new to be said beyond a brief summary and a selection of the available literature, whilst others have resisted every effort to find out about them; curiously, recent ones are often hardest to find out about.  Where possible, there is a brief summary of his or her career with particular attention paid to work in Sussex or to connections with the county, together with relevant sources of information.  Some names are also mentioned even if they did not do anything in Sussex, but were associated with someone who did.   There is, however, no separate entry for such people.

Inevitably there are many technical terms and abbreviations and there is a GLOSSARY of the most commonly used, together with a list of ABBREVIATIONS.  Many abbreviations apply to the sources used, which are included under each church or architect etc.  Sources of more than purely local interest are listed in full in the BIBLIOGRAPHY.  All these can be accessed from the buttons above.

I have tried to cite the sources I have consulted.  In addition to the bibliography, there is a note about SOURCES in the main menu and at the end of the entry on each church any articles about it are listed.  Some of these are very old and unreliable, but the point cannot be made often enough that they contain many pieces of incidental information, e g the date of a restoration or an illustration.

A Plea

A project like this will never be complete.  New information comes to light all the time, both about the past and new developments.  Much will pass me by, so the plea is that if you know something of interest about a church that has been missed, do let me know.  Equally, there will doubtless be errors.  In either case or for any other reason, your contribution will be most gratefully received and, if incorporated, acknowledged in the text.

Inquiries to the website

Please send me any comments and suggestions you may have to info@sussexparishchurches.org and I will be able to attend to it without delay.

CHURCHES