Worthing: Roman Catholicism

Page 122

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1, Bramber Rape (Southern Part). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1980.

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From 1859 the newly built private chapel of Thomas Gaisford at Offington House was used for Roman Catholic public worship. In 1862 the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion established a temporary convent in North Street whose chapel became the main place of Roman Catholic worship, and in 1864 the church of St. Mary of the Angels and a permanent convent were opened on adjoining sites in Richmond and Crescent roads. (fn. 1) Under James Purdon, priest from 1870 to 1923, the church and its congregation expanded greatly. A parish was formed in 1918, and in 1938 there was an average Sunday morning attendance of c. 1,500. (fn. 2)

The church, designed by H. Clutton, (fn. 3) is of red brick in Gothic style. A tower, chancel, and transept were added in 1873, and another transept and chapel in 1882, mainly at the expense of T. Gaisford of Offington. In 1900 a new aisle and baptistry were added at the expense of Lady Loder. (fn. 4)

The parish of St. Michael, Durrington, was formed in 1927, and a chapel was built in Cotswold Road in 1938. It moved to Hayling Rise c. 1966 and was served from Worthing c. 1976. (fn. 5)

The parish of St. Charles was formed in 1958, and a church and presbytery were built on the corner of Chesswood and Ham roads in 1962. (fn. 6)


  • 1. Cath. dir.(1863),158, 228; ibid.(1864),209; Bread's Guide Worthing (1865), 15, 83; Royal Guide, 24; Worthing Suru. 229-30.
  • 2. Worthing Surv. 230–2.
  • 3. Breads's Guide Worthing (1865), 15.
  • 4. Royal Guide, 24; Worthing Surv. 230.
  • 5. Cath. Dir. (1951), 358; ibid. (1977), 82.
  • 6. Ibid. (1977), 92.