St Mary the Blessed Virgin


Since Saxon times there has been a Christian place of worship on the flanks of these South Downs.

St Mary's (Saxon) church was founded around A.D. 960 and is a world renowned for the unique Rhenish Helm (Rhineland Helmet) Spire. After the Norman Conquest, St Mary's church was extended along Saxon foundations; subsequently the Knights Templars (Crusaders) built two Chancels for their private use. Knights Hospitallers continued with the building programmes. Visual evidence of over 1100 years of church life are very evident in the form of carved Saxon and Norman stonework.

Today St Mary's is the home of a lively and active Christian community. St Mary's provides the focus for community events and worship, and is regularly visited by local school groups as part of their curriculum. Our church is a favoured marriage venue and is also very busy with parents bringing their children for Baptism.

St Mary's is in the parish of South Lancing and Sompting, which also includes the St Peter's church, Sompting and St Michael and All Angels, Lancing.

The Parish of South Lancing and Sompting is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO). The Diocese of Chichester’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) who advises our PSO. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the DSA. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adult Services.

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Father Felix Smith

St Michael's Vicarage
117 Penhill Road

BN15 8HD

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What's on


Every Third Sunday at for 50 mins
St Mary the Virgin
St Mary the Virgin, Church Lane Sompting, BN15 0AZ

Mass with Hymns

For details of all our forthcoming events please go to