Crawley – Introduction

Crawley became a new town in 1947 and the population had risen to over 70,000 by 1980.  The centre of the existing small town of Crawley was the core of the new town, which covers most of the parish of Ifield and part of Worth.  The boundary between Ifield and Crawley in the middle of Crawley high street followed that between the rapes of Bramber and Lewes.  St Peter West Green, a daughter church of Ifield, was built for this area in 1892.

The new town was planned in a series of neighbourhoods, with shops, a pub and a church and as Crawley continued to grow, further neighbourhoods, like Bewbush and Broadfield, were built in the 1980s and 1990s.  It has also expanded towards Gatwick Airport, absorbing Lowfield Heath, which, like the airport, was originally in Surrey.

Apart from the churches already there, there are ten new ones.  Though not all date from his time, this generous provision reflects the determination of Bishop George Bell of Chichester that the church should have a strong presence in the new town.  Not all are of architectural merit and one that was, St Richard, Three Bridges, has been replaced.  Some of those in newer neighbourhoods are shared with other denominations.