Worthing
Churches

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Victoria County History

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T P Hudson (Editor), A P Baggs, C R J Currie, C R Elrington, S M Keeling, A M Rowland

Year published

1980

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119-122

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'Worthing: Churches', A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1: Bramber Rape (Southern Part) (1980), pp. 119-122. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18230&strquery=Worthing+ Date accessed: 31 October 2014.


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Contents

CHURCHES.

A chapel at Worthing was recorded in 1291, (fn. 73) and in 1410 was being used for mass. (fn. 74) Two chaplains, possibly of Worthing chapel, occurred in the early 15th century. (fn. 75) The chapel still existed in the early 16th century, (fn. 76) but by 1575 was in private hands. (fn. 77) It had been demolished by 1635 when the rector of Broadwater claimed its site as part of the endowment of Broadwater church. (fn. 78) That site is unknown; the identification with Vicarage Garden, north of North Street, is doubtful. (fn. 79)

After at least two unsuccessful attempts to build a chapel of ease to Broadwater (fn. 80) an Act of 1809 appointed trustees, including the rector of Broadwater, to build one. The rector was empowered to nominate a curate, but no marriages or burials were to be performed in the chapel. (fn. 81) The building, in Chapel Road, was consecrated in 1812, (fn. 82) but it remained a chapel of ease until 1894 when a parish was formed out of Broadwater and St. George's parishes. (fn. 83) The benefice was called a perpetual curacy until c. 1902 and thereafter a vicarage. (fn. 84) In 1898 its patronage was transferred from the rector of Broadwater to trustees, (fn. 85) with whom it remained in 1978. (fn. 86)

The chapel was built by subscriptions, and money was raised to maintain it and to pay the incumbent by the sale or leasing of pews and by a rate levied on the pews' proprietors. (fn. 87) In 1813 most of the proprietors were those who let lodgings and furnished houses. (fn. 88) The pews were freely bought and sold (fn. 89) until the 1880s when many were redeemed and presented to the diocese. (fn. 90) The rector of Broadwater provided a house for the incumbent by 1853. (fn. 91) A vicarage in Ambrose Place had been acquired by 1905. (fn. 92) The Good Shepherd mission room in Gordon Road was licensed for worship in 1908. (fn. 93) It had been closed by 1972. (fn. 94)

The chapel, later church, of ST. PAUL (fn. 95) was designed by J. B. Rebecca, and the interior was finished by Edward Hide of Worthing. (fn. 96) It is of brick, partly stuccoed, having a Doric portico with four columns at the east end, with a bell-cupola behind it. As originally built the chancel was at the east end and there were galleries on all sides. (fn. 97) There was a vestry by 1824. The chapel was reconstructed in 1893 when an Italianate chancel was added at the west end. (fn. 98) A new vestry had been added by 1903. (fn. 99) The rector of Broadwater gave the plate, of silver, in 1812 and his wife gave a piece in 1820; (fn. 1) Edward Ogle gave the first organ. (fn. 2) In 1894 the dean and chapter of Chichester presented a font, probably 15th-century, from the cathedral. (fn. 3)

CHRIST CHURCH and its burial ground between Grafton and Portland roads were consecrated in 1843, (fn. 4) mainly to supply the want of church accommodation for the poor. (fn. 5) The church was at first regarded as a chapel of ease to Broadwater, (fn. 6) whose rector in 1849 required the officiating minister to take the town under his spiritual care. The rector of Broadwater remained the patron in 1974. (fn. 7) A parish was assigned out of Broadwater in 1855, (fn. 8) and a perpetual curate licensed. (fn. 9) The cure became a vicarage in 1868. (fn. 10) With help from Queen Anne's Bounty a house for the incumbent was built in Westbrooke by 1859. (fn. 11) In 1975 the vicarage was in Shakespeare Road. (fn. 12)

In 1851 c. 380 attended the morning and evening services. (fn. 13) In 1865 400 sittings were ordinarily let besides 42 seats in the chancel at the height of the season. (fn. 14) In 1884 there were two Sunday services and an afternoon service for the children, but the congregation had been reduced, partly by the building of Holy Trinity church. (fn. 15) In 1976 the church was described as the parish church of Worthing. (fn. 16) A mission hall holding 100 was recorded in 1903, (fn. 17) and services were held there thrice weekly in 1910. (fn. 18)

Christ Church was built by subscription between 1840 (fn. 19) and 1843. (fn. 20) The original design by John Elliott of Chichester was apparently altered by the curate of St. Paul's, as a result of strong criticism by the Cambridge Camden Society, and there were disputes between Elliott, the curate, and the rector of Broadwater (fn. 21) who had given the site. (fn. 22) The church, the first example of the Gothic Revival in Worthing, (fn. 23) is of flint with brick dressings, and originally consisted of a chancel, aisled nave, transepts, west tower, and vestry. (fn. 24) Galleries were built in the transepts in 1865-6, (fn. 25) and the church was restored and improved in 1876. (fn. 26) In 1894 the chancel arch was re-designed and other alterations were made. (fn. 27) The church was again restored in 1908. (fn. 28)

The church of ST. GEORGE, off Church Walk, was consecrated in 1868, (fn. 29) and a district assigned to it from Broadwater. (fn. 30) The patronage of the vicarage was sold in 1903 by the rector of Broadwater to the Patronage Trust of the National Protestant Church Union, (fn. 31) later merged in the Church Society, which held it in 1976. (fn. 32) A vicarage house recorded c. 1876 (fn. 33) had been lost by 1884, (fn. 34) but a new vicarage was provided in Selden Road before 1907. (fn. 35)

In 1884 St. George's had two Sunday services and a monthly children's service, afternoon communion, and regular baptisms. (fn. 36) Communion was celebrated thrice monthly in 1903. (fn. 37) The church remained largely isolated until the development of the surrounding area for building was completed in the 20th century. (fn. 38) A mission room opened in Newland Road in 1883 (fn. 39) was recorded until c. 1925. Another mission room in Ham Road was recorded from c. 1891 to 1910. (fn. 40) The Emmanuel mission church in Brougham Road was licensed in 1911 (fn. 41) and became a church hall in 1976, when the new Emmanuel church was dedicated next to it. (fn. 42)

St. George's church was built to the design of George Truefitt, (fn. 43) and is of stone. (fn. 44) At first it comprised an apsidal chancel and nave, on a northsouth axis, and a bell-turret. (fn. 45) A new vestry and two new porches were added in 1875, (fn. 46) and a transept had been added by 1884. (fn. 47)

The Gratwicke estate was developed from 1877, and HOLY TRINITY church, Shelley Road, was consecrated in 1883 to serve it. (fn. 48) In 1884 a parish was formed from Broadwater and Christ Church parishes. (fn. 49) The vicarage has remained in the patronage of trustees, (fn. 50) two of the original trustees being the rector of Broadwater and the vicar of Christ Church. (fn. 51) In 1884 there was a temporary vicarage house in Shelley Road, (fn. 52) where a permanent one was built in 1898. (fn. 53)

There were two Sunday services in 1884. (fn. 54) A mission room in Anglesea Street licensed for worship in that year (fn. 55) was recorded until the 1930s. (fn. 56) St. Matthew's church in Tarring Road was built as a chapel of ease to Holy Trinity in 1899 from designs by R. S. Hyde of Worthing, (fn. 57) and a south aisle and vestries were added in 1911. (fn. 58)

The church of Holy Trinity, of red brick in Gothic style, originally consisted of chancel, nave, and aisles, with an organ chamber and north porch. A tower with spire was built in 1888, in which eight tubular bells were hung in 1889, (fn. 59) and a new vestry was built in 1894. (fn. 60) The 17th-century pulpit from Broadwater church was installed in 1883. (fn. 61)

After about six years of dispute and controversy with the rector of Broadwater and the vicars of Christ Church and Holy Trinity, the promoters of High Church worship in Worthing triumphed (fn. 62) when the church of ST. ANDREW, Clifton Road, near the recently developed Oxford and Cambridge roads, was consecrated in 1888. (fn. 63) A parish was formed out of Broadwater, Christ Church, and Holy Trinity parishes. (fn. 64) The patronage of the vicarage was assigned to George Wedd of Charmandean, one of the chief promoters of the church, for the first turn and afterwards to Keble College, Oxford, (fn. 65) with which it remained in 1976. (fn. 66) The vicarage was endowed by Wedd, and augmented by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1888. (fn. 67) After a number of moves a new vicarage was built in Victoria Road in 1924. (fn. 68) The church has always retained its High Church character, (fn. 69) its congregation including many non-parishioners. (fn. 70) A mission room in Victoria Road was recorded c. 1900. (fn. 71)

The church of St. Andrew was built in 1886, (fn. 72) to the design of Sir A. W. Blomfield, (fn. 73) mainly at the expense of George Wedd who also gave the site. (fn. 74) Its consecration was delayed until 1888 largely because of the opposition of the vicar of Holy Trinity. (fn. 75) It is of flint and stone in Gothic style and consists of a nave with baptistry, aisles, transepts, and a chancel with a Lady Chapel, sacristy, and vestry. A choir vestry was added in 1908. In 1978 the church had many elaborate fittings, including altars, a rood screen, and a reredos designed by C. E. Kempe. (fn. 76)

Footnotes

73 Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 134.
74 Reg. Rob. Rede, i (S.R.S. viii), 149.
75 Westm. Abbey Mun. 5469, ff. 12-13.
76 Suss. Wills, i (S.R.S. xli), 227; W.S.R.O., MP 1095, f. 63.
77 C 66/1125 m. 28; Cal. Pat. 1572-5, pp. 408-13; Chantry Rec. (S.R.S. xxxvi), 159; cf. B.L. Add. MS. 39350, f. 202.
78 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/25/3 (1635).
79 Cf. W.R.L., Sayers Coll.; Dallaway & Cartwright, Hist. W. Suss. ii (2), 34.
80 Evans, Worthing (1805), 26-7; W.S.R.O., Ep. I/40/43, ff. 1-3.
81 Worthing Chapel of Ease Act, 49 Geo. III, c. 115 (Local and Personal).
82 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/17/44, ff. 95v.-97v.
83 Ibid. Ep. I/22A/1 (1884); Ep. I/22A/2 (1865); Lond. Gaz. 4 May 1894, p. 2590.
84 e.g. W.S.R.O., MP 1098, f. 47; ibid. Ep. I/22A/1 (1884); B.L. Add. MS. 39372, f. 401; Chich. Dioc. Kal. and Dir. (1900 and later edns.).
85 Lond. Gaz. 20 May 1898, p. 3145.
86 Chich. Dioc. Kal. and Dir. (1902 and later edns.).
87 Worthing Chapel of Ease Act, 49 Geo. III, c. 115 (Local and Personal); cf. H. Jefferson, Ch. of St. Paul (1969), [2].
88 Mackcoull's Worthing (1813), 139-42.
89 e.g. W.R.L., lease, 1817, from J. Penfold and others to Sir Ric. Jones and trustee; ibid. sale cats. 1856-79, nos. 1, 35; Worthing Rec. 30 June 1855; Jefferson, op. cit. [7].
90 Jefferson, op. cit. [9-12]; W.R.L., Worthing pamphlets, Q1, appeal for Worthing chapel of ease, c. 1890.
91 Snewin & Smail, Glimpses, 86; W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22/1 (1853).
92 Kelly's Dir. Worthing (1905); Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1938); Crockford (1907 and later edns.).
93 Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1909), 88.
94 Chich. Dioc. Dir. (1972-3), 112-13.
95 Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1894), 148.
96 Shearsmith, Worthing, 36; Colvin, Biog. Dict. Eng. Architects, 283, 485.
97 Elleray, Worthing, pl. 143.
98 Nairn & Pevsner, Suss. 386; Jefferson, Ch. of St. Paul, [3, 8, 11-12]; Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1894), 148; Worthing Chapel of Ease Act, 5 Geo. IV, c. 20 (Local and Personal).
99 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22A/2 (1903).
1 S.A.C. liv. 226.
2 Evans, Worthing (1814), i. 52; Snewin & Smail, Glimpses, 107.
3 Kelly's Dir. Worthing (1900); Jefferson, op. cit. [17].
4 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/17/45, f. 128.
5 Worthing Handbk. 25; Breads's Guide Worthing (1859), 13; W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22/1 (1853).
6 B.L. Add. MS. 39350, ff. 196-7.
7 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/41/68; Crockford (1973-4).
8 Lond. Gaz. 21 July 1855, p. 2912.
9 B.L. Add. MS. 39350, f. 194.
10 District Tithes Amendment Act, 31 & 32 Vic. c. 117; W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22A/1 (1878).
11 Hodgson, Queen Anne's Bounty, Suppl. (1864), pp. xxxviii, lxiii; Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1859); Worthing Rec. 1 Dec. 1855; Smail, Map Story, 138.
12 Christ Ch. par. mag. May 1975 (copy at W.R.L.).
13 H.O. 129/90/1/2/4.
14 Breads's Guide Worthing (1865), 14.
15 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22A/1 (1884).
16 Notice at ch.
17 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22A/2 (1903).
18 Ibid. Ep.I/22/2 (1910).
19 Builder, 18 Nov. 1843, p. 489; Shearsmith, Worthing (1841), 24.
20 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/17/45, f. 130.
21 Builder, 18 Nov. 1843, pp. 489-90.
22 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/17/45, ff. 128-32.
23 S.A.C. lxxxvi. 160.
24 Breads's Guide Worthing (1859), 13; Trans. Extr. Rec. Past, 56.
25 Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1878).
26 Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1878), 87; ibid. (1879), 76; Royal Guide, 21.
27 Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1895), 143; B.L. Add. MSS. 39350, f. 198; 39368, f. 1583.
28 Kelly's Dir. Worthing (1910).
29 B.L. Add. MS. 39364, f. 315; Elleray, Worthing, pl. 147.
30 Lond. Gaz. 9 Dec. 1868, pp. 6585-6.
31 Chich. Dioc. Kal. and Dir. (1873 and later edns.); conveyance, 1903, penes Church Society.
32 Ex inf. Ch. Society.
33 Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1876), 52.
34 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22A/1 (1884).
35 Ibid. Ep. I/22A/2 (1903); Crockford (1907); Lond. Gaz. 5 Aug. 1904, p. 5062; 8 Mar. 1907, p. 1668.
36 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22A/1 (1884).
37 Ibid. Ep. I/22A/2 (1903).
38 Cf. above, Growth of the Town.
39 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22A/1 (1884).
40 Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1891, 1895); Kelly's Dir. Worthing (1900 and later edns.).
41 Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1912), 152.
42 Worthing Herald, 20 Feb., 2 July, 23 Dec. 1976.
43 Builder, 22 June 1867, p. 450.
44 B.L. Add. MS. 39364, f. 315.
45 Royal Guide, 22; Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1887).
46 Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1878), 87; Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1887).
47 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22A/1 (1884).
48 Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1884), App. p. 5; cf. above, Growth of the Town.
49 Lond. Gaz. 25 Apr. 1884, pp. 1881-2.
50 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22A/1 (1884); Chich. Dioc. Kal. and Dir. (1888 and later edns.).
51 B.L. Add. MS. 39350, f. 201.
52 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22A/1 (1884); W.R.L., sale cats. 1880-4, no. 64; Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1887, 1895).
53 Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1899), 150; Kelly's Dir. Worthing (1900); Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1905 and later edns.).
54 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22A/1 (1884).
55 Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1885), 115.
56 W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22A/2 (1903); Kelly's Dir. Worthing (1905 and later edns.).
57 Kelly's Dir. Worthing (1900, 1905); Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1905).
58 Kelly's Dir. Worthing (1914-15).
59 Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1891); Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1890), 149; ibid. (1891), 154.
60 Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1895).
61 S.A.C. lxxiv. 120; Nairn & Pevsner, Suss. 387; Worthing Herald, 14 May 1975.
62 W.S.R.O., MP 1401, f. 6; D. R. Elleray, St. Andrew's Ch., Worthing (1977), 2-9.
63 Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1889), 130; cf. above, Growth of the Town.
64 Lond. Gaz. 18 May 1888, pp. 2822-4.
65 Ibid.; Chich. Dioc. Kal. and Dir. (1889 and later edns.).
66 Elleray, St. Andrew's, 37.
67 Lond. Gaz. 18 May 1888, pp. 2822-4; W.R.L., privy council proc. concerning St. Andrew's, c. 1887, case of Eccl. Commrs., f. 3.
68 Elleray, St. Andrew's, 34; Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1930).
69 e.g. Worthing Surv. 228; Worthing Herald, 26 Nov. 1976.
70 Elleray, St. Andrew's, 13.
71 Kelly's Dir. Worthing (1900).
72 Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1887); Elleray, St. Andrew's, 15.
73 D.N.B.
74 W.R.L., privy council proc., case of Eccl. Commrs., f. 3.
75 Ibid. f. 6.
76 Elleray, St. Andrew's, 18-42; see above, pl. facing p. 112.