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 Rheinish 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 (Saxon) church 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.
The Church is open visitors all-year-round, from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.