Church Guides

The five churches are set in a beautiful part of East Sussex, largely within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the South Downs National Park. The five parishes lie between the coastal town of Eastbourne and the historic county town of Lewes. The five churches are normally open from 10.00 am till dusk. Details of service times can be found here. The church sketches are by Julie Little.

For more detailed information about a church and its history, please click on its sketch.

Alciston Church Sketch

Alciston

Alciston church, which is Grade 1 listed, was a chapel-of-ease for Battle Abbey and has Norman, early English and Perpendicular features.

Key Features: The church is adjacent to a fine 14th century tithe barn and mediaeval (Benedictine) dovecote, tithe barn, priest’s house and stewponds.

Arlington

The church building dates back over 1000 years and bears an ancient dedication to St Pancras - the son of a Roman nobleman who was beheaded in 304 aged 14, for refusing to renounce Christianity.

Key Features: St Pancras notably represents a mosaic of early and medieval periods of architecture in one building. There is a 13th century pottery urn and leper’s window behind the priest’s stall in the Chancel. The East Window has a stained glass depiction of the Crucifixion and is dedicated to the memory of William Chandless - a Christian cowboy and Amazon explorer!

Arlington Church Sketch Berwick Church Sketch

Berwick

St Michael and All Angels is a Grade 1 listed building. Although it may well have Saxon or Norman origins, it was heavily restored in 1856 to designs by local Victorian architect Henry Woodyer.

Key Features: The 20th Century Bloomsbury Murals that attract about 10,000 visitors each year.

Selemeston Church Sketch Wilmington Church Sketch

Selmeston

The church is built of flint in the typical Sussex style, with a red-tiled roof and a tall bell-turret with tiled walls and a shingled spire.

Key Features: The church has unusual brasses and the churchyard has the grave of Stanley Mockford who was the inventor of the ‘Mayday’ distress call. There is a particularly beautiful stained glass - including the window of the Annunciation by Charles Kempe.

Wilmington

The church of St Mary and St Peter is 12th Century and was founded, with the neighbouring Priory, by Benedictine monks. The unusually long chancel has stone seating along the walls where the monks would have sat for services.

Key Features: A 1,600 year-old yew tree stands in the churchyard, and the church has a particularly fine Jacobean pulpit, dating from 1610. The north chapel has a beautiful ‘Bee and Butterfly’ stained glass window that was installed to replace one destroyed by a fire in 2002.

Church Guides

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