About Us

“One Church at worship: three buildings for worship”

The 'Valley Parish' of East Dean, Singleton, & West Dean is in the upper Lavant valley, 6 miles north of Chichester. The parish was created on 1st December 2005, by the merger of the three ancient parishes, which had shared incumbents for 40 years. The Reverend Sarah Manouch was appointed House for Duty Incumbent in 2020. Her parish days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and she is not available on a Thursday

The 3 ancient parish churches work closely together to promote the gospel, and encourage today's church at worship, while being the village church for their different communities.
Our worship style is middle of the road, using Common Worship.

The Parish Eucharist is celebrated at 10am in each church in turn (at East Dean on the first Sunday each month, with a choir). The second Sunday is at The Blessed Virgin Mary Singleton, and the third and fourth Sundays at West Dean where there are All Stars Children's activities on the 3rd Sunday during school terms, and a Family Service with music group on the fourth Sunday, where young people help to lead music, prayers, and worship.Blessed Virgin Mary Singleton was a Saxon foundation, possibly a small ‘minster’ (a base for several priests who would minister to the surrounding area).  Despite Victorian restoration and extensions it remains a small, simple church building, built in stone and flint, in its village setting in the South Downs.  The churchyard is remains in use, and provides a peaceful spot to appreciate the surrounding downland.

The parish War Memorial for the 1st and 2nd World Wars is in the churchyard, originally placed so that it could be seen across the fields from the hamlet of Charlton.  The church contains the Roll of Honour of those who served in the 1st World War, indicating those wounded and killed, and decorated with flags of the Allied Powers (Britain, France, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Serbia, Japan).

There is also an interesting large memorial to a huntsman, hunt servant to the Charlton Hunt, erected by the hunt’s noble patron; together with other interesting and pathetic individual memorials.  Past residents of the parish also left their own memorials in the form graffiti carved into doorways and pillars, including several repetitions of the schoolmaster’s name on the chancel arch!