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Chidham and Hambrook - The Church - All about St Mary 's

All about St Mary 's Church, the Parish Church of Chidham

Map showing where to find St Mary's Church, Chidham
St Mary's Church, Chidham - Interior
St Mary's Church, Chidham
A new stained glass window by the artist Mel Howse was installed in St Cuthman's chapel in 2010. The window shows St Wilfrid, who taught local people to fish with nets, and on the left hand side, and in the detail, St Cuthman who famously travelled to Steyning and built a church there.
St Mary’s Church, Chidham

This attractive Early English church is dedicated to St Mary.

It is probable that there was a wooden Saxon church on the site, predating the existing structure of St Mary’s Church.

In the Domesday book, the prebend of Chidham, linked to the College of Bosham came under the Diocese of Exeter, and did so until the reformation. The gift of the living has been in the hands of the Bishop of Chichester since 1902.
The nave and chancel of the existing structure were built in the latter half of the the 13th century.

The first known Vicar is Andrew Prous, referred to as the “Vicar of Cheddeham” in 1261. The Church registers begin in 1652.

Memorials include memorials to members of the Bickley family who were Lords of the Manor from the Reformation until 1750.
St Mary's Chidham - the Chancel
The north aisle, the Chapel of St Cuthman, was added in the 14th century. It was restored and rededicated in 1925 as a memorial to those who fell in the 1914 -18 war.
It is now used as an area where younger people sit together to participate in Sunday worship.
A new stained glass window was installed in the chapel in 2010 (see above)
There were three bells in 1857, and these bells which may have dated from the 16th century were probably recast in 1864.
There are now two bells in the belfry.
St Mary's Chidham - the Bell Tower
The stone font, thought to be early medieval or possibly Saxon, was recovered from under the nave during restoration work in 1864 and may have come from an earlier Saxon building.
The font is topped by a piece of decorative painted wrought iron work in the art nouveau style. It was recovered from the Churchyard, where it may have been placed for safe-keeping during the war, and repainted in the original colours.
St Mary's Chidham - the Organ

Celebrating 800 years of St Mary's Church, Chidham in 2010

Exactly when St. Mary's church was built is not known for certain but evidence suggests it was close to 1210 AD. We chose to adopt this date and celebrate the 800 year anniversary of our church accordingly. 2010 was also the centenary of Chidham School on its current site and so a double celebration seemed opportune.

'The Friends of Chidham Churches' led the '800 year' celebrations with events throughout the year celebrating the history of the church and the community and involved the whole community. Some events were free, others covered costs and some were intended as fund raisers for the 'Friends'.

We also marked the anniversary with the commissioning of a new stained glass window for St Mary's church, in St Cuthman's chapel – an opportunity for this generation to contribute something lasting and enhancing to the church.
For more about the new windows
For more about the 2010 celebrations

If you would like to know more about ‘The Friends of Chidham Churches', please contact
Stephen Johnson, Secretary, The Friends of Chidham Churches -
Tel 572059 or e mail:


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