In Henfield we are very fortunate in having three churches within the village itself – one Anglican, one Catholic and one Free Church - as well as a further two Anglican churches in the neighbouring areas of Woodmancote and Shermanbury which make up the Church of England Parish of Henfield, Shermanbury and Woodmancote.
The church buildings themselves are all beautiful and well worth visiting.in their own right. As well as all the regular serivces for worship, a great many other activities are run by the church communities in the church halls working for the enjoyment, entertainment and well-being of all the residents.
St. Peter's Henfield
St Peter’s Church is the ancient parish church of Henfield, and has recently come together with St Giles Church, Shermanbury and St Peter’s Church, Woodmancote to become one single parish, with a Church Council made up of representatives from all three churches.
Henfield church was founded in 770, so in 2020 we celebrated 1250 years of Christian worship in this place.
St Peter's is surrounded by paths edged in over 100 tall yew bushes and its tower is solid and northern in style, housing one of Sussex’s finest rings of eight bells. The stained glass is of high quality, much of it the work of Charles Eamer Kempe who was born in Ovingdean and lived at Henfield vicarage whilst designing and installing the church’s east window.
The interior was modernised (re-ordered) in 2008 with a new stone floor with under-floor heating, and this coupled with the flexibility of modern chairs, have given a brilliant feeling of light and space.
St. Giles', Shermanbury
St. Giles’ Shermanbury is tucked away in a park half a mile from the nearest public road on the bank of the River Adur about 2 miles North of Henfield and is one of the oldest and most interesting churches in West Sussex being mentioned in the Domesday Book.
The list of Rectors goes back without a break to 1288 and the church is famous for its box pews inscribed with the names of surrounding houses. Other interesting features include: The font which dates to the time of Henry lll (1216-1272), a stained glass window of the seal of Henry Vll and the Royal Arms of Queen Anne painted on wood dating to 1710.
St Peter's Church Woodmancote
The pretty little quintessentially English church of St Peter's, Woodmancote can be seen across the countryside from the A281 road.
Originally thirteenth century the church was largely rebuilt in 1868 and like St Giles it appears in the records of the Domesday book of 1086 which lists it as ‘Odemancote’. Two of the Lewes martyrs, burnt at the stake in 1556, Thomas Harland and John Oswald, came from Woodmancote and are commemorated now by a stone cairn in the churchyard.
Corpus Christi Catholic Church
The Catholic Church serves Henfield and neighbouring Parishes. It is situated adjacent to the Tanyard Field, and is found by following signs to St Peter's Church, and then continuing along Church Lane to a slightly inclined drive on your right.
Father Hugh Flower is helped by Deacon Seamus Mahon and Deacon Paul Russell. In addition to the Masses, Baptisms and other worship the church runs many lively events in its well-equipped modern hall.
Henfield Evangelical Free Church
The Evangelical Free Church is ‘The Church in the High Street’ with a visible presence in the village. It is a church for all ages, incorporating both traditional and contemporary forms of music, preaching the good news from the Bible (NIV), and reaching out into the community.
Whether you are visiting or live locally everyone is invited to share in its services, worship and fellowship.
It is a very friendly church at the heart of the village and you are urged to contact the Pastor, Mr Andrew Lawton, if you want any further information.
For current church activities, see our Places of Worship page.
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