Chichester – St Paul

St Paul’s was built in 1836 by J Butler (ICBS) as a chapelry of St Peter-the-Great, to provide for the barracks nearby and the suburb of Somerstown, which has now largely been demolished.  Today, with St Pancras, it suffices to serve the centre of the city.  It is a large rectangular box of galletted flint, typical of its date, with over-sized pairs of lancets between shallow buttresses.  What is today a small chancel was originally a robing room (ICBS).  There was formerly a tower and its removal has affected the appearance of the church adversely.  Quartermain ((W) p88) shows it had tall lancet-openings and a flat top.  Its bottom stage survives as a porch.

The roof in the broad interior has thin traceried struts in the spaces above the main beams.  Unusually for the date, there is only a west gallery, which has an arcaded front, and no side ones were planned (ICBS).  The gallery extended into the tower space (1 after p12) through a large arch, now blocked.  The arch to the east recess is quite ambitious, given its original utilitarian function.  Until the 1990s, much of the interest of the interior came from the efforts to adapt it to late C19 liturgy.  The sanctuary was extended into the nave behind low iron rails, with choir stalls and encaustic tiles on the floor, and a piscina and sedilia were provided in the east recess.  The plan in the faculty of 1879 (WSRO Ep I/40/5827) is unsigned.  Work was carried out in 1881-82 at a cost of £900 (KD 1899). In 1914, a chapel was formed on the south side and the roof was renewed in 1922.

The tower was giving concern by 1863, when G M Hills criticised the construction.  In 1884 he did repairs (WSRO Par 43/4/12), chiefly to the cracked buttresses, but problems remained, leading to complete removal in 1949.  A plan by S Roth to place a pyramid spire on the retained lower part was not carried out (WSRO Par 43/4/12).

There were alteration in 1992-93, when G Claridge added a new hall of flint and brick on the north side and he was probably also responsible for the replanning of the interior which appears to have been completed in 1995 (Elleray (2004) p16) with a projecting platform for the altar.  In the process the later C19 alterations were largely removed.


Font: C15 octagonal with trefoiled sides, moved in 1982 from St Peter-the-Great (1 p19) and, ultimately, from the north transept of the cathedral.
1. (North east lancet) Worn heraldic glass, dating from around the date of the church.
2. (East window) The centre light is of 1919 by Shrigley and Hunt of Lancaster as a war memorial (WSRO Ep I/40/2752).  The sides are of 1950, designed by J Blackford and made by Barton, Kinder and Alderson (WSRO Fac 354).
3. (South east lancet) Shrigley and Hunt, c1919 ( retrieved on 11/2/2013), linked with the tablet beneath as a war memorial.
War memorial: Tablet in memory of the members of the 9th Cyclist Battalion, the Hampshire Regiment, who fell in World War I.


1.  J H Bishop: The Subdeanery Parish of Chichester, Chichester 1982


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