Eastbourne – St Luke, Stone Cross
The area south of Pevensey has merged with the landward expansion of Eastbourne. A J Hodgeman designed a church for the area in 1924-25 (ESRO Par 541) as a chapelry of Westham, but it struggled to find a congregation and closed around 1974 (vidi). After more building in the area, it reopened in 1988, with a conventual district formed from Westham and St Richard, Langney that became a separate parish in 1995.
The church shows no hint of its architect’s colourful earlier life. It is long and low, combining half-timbered gables and tile-hanging with domestic-style windows that are almost continuous along the sides. The central lantern-tower with a tiled base and pyramid-spire provides the only vertical emphasis and the bell is hung on the west gable beneath an extension of the roof. The interior is a single space, spanned by a boarded roof supported on small hammerbeams and the plain fittings of the chancel date from 1988 or later. Above the five-light east window with a square head is a cross, cut through the wall and glazed; this could date from the renovations. The east end and much of the north side are now enveloped in a sizeable complex comprising a hall and other parish rooms, which was completed in 2002 (church website).
1. (South chapel) Small and octagonal.
2. (Behind altar) Larger and more elaborate, also with an octagonal bowl.
Glass: (In the glazed cross above the east window) Simply coloured glass, arranged irregularly.
My thanks to Nick Wiseman for the photographs