St Michael, Up Marden

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All who know the downland church of St Michael regard it as special. There is some debate about its exact age, but it dates from either the 12th or early 13th century. Little has changed since then. Set in a large churchyard surrounded by fields and approached down a farm track, this simple double cell building invites travellers to rest for a while and share its peace.

Without electricity or water, St Michael’s is mostly used for twice-monthly Evensong during the summer months and for special services at other times. However it is also regularly visited by groups and individuals for private worship. St Michael’s isolation kept away improvers and restorers, and it was proposed some forty years ago that the church should be closed. This galvanized into action those who loved it, and the Friends of St Michael’s was formed. An extensive programme of sensitive restoration work, funded by the Friends, has been undertaken, during which rare thirteenth century wall paintings were uncovered and preserved.

In July 2013 this church was included in Britain's sixty favourite churches by the National Churches Trust.

Accessibility: The church is accessed by an unsurfaced track and then by a gravel path about 200 yards long.There is no electric light or heating in the church.


Parish boundary view Bird's eye view

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Please see the Octagon Parish website
02392631252 (Parish Administrator)

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  • Regular Services
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Printer friendly list of events


BCP Evensong
Alternate Sundays between May and September
Every first and third Sunday at 5:30 PM
from Sunday 6th May 2018 until Sunday 16th September 2018
Resumes Sunday 29th April 2018
Book of Common Prayer
Printer friendly list of events
Carol Service
There is no electricity in this church so this service is held by candlelight
Sunday 24th December 2017 at 5:30 PM for ¾ hour


Assistance dogs (eg guide dogs, hearing dogs, dogs for the disabled) welcome
Wall Paintings
Other information
A Church Near You ID (venue number): 5192
Diocesan ID: BP0312
Built: C13 with some pre-Conquest remains probably from elsewhere
Style of worship: Central
Archdeaconry: CHICHESTER (101)
Deanery: WESTBOURNE (10108)
Benefice: Octagon (10/249BR)
Parish Legal Name: Octagon (100571 )
CofE Church Info: (610314 10/314)
Short URL:
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The current editor is: Edward Mynors

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This page was last updated on Tuesday 12th September 2017
St Michael, Up Marden, West Sussex, PO18 9JR - Three quarters of a mile south of Long Lane between Compton (on B2146) and East Marden (on B2141).

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