Mannings Heath – Good Shepherd
Mannings Heath is the largest hamlet in the parish of Nuthurst (VCH 6(2) p107), but until 1881 it lacked any place of Anglican worship. A mission chapel was built in that year by Miss Augusta Bigg, a member of a leading family in the village (1 p1), as a memorial to her brother.
It is a more substantial building than most of its kind and though no architect is known, Robert Elleray’s attribution to L W Ridge makes sense ((1981) p72). It is built of brick with plain pointed side windows in small gables that break the roof-line. However although the east window has only two lights, it is traceried and made of stone. The chancel arch is also stone, although quite plain. A white-painted belfry is placed over the west end above a more elaborate arrangement of two two-light windows beneath a central circular opening. Inside, the roof is trussed and boarded with brick-faced walls; a photograph of c1932 (1 p9) shows that the painting is of long standing, though not necessarily original. There was always a timber south porch, though a photograph taken before 1888 (ibid p8) shows it was then more open.
In 2008 the church was re-ordered (ibid p14) with a view to making it more of a community centre. The pews were removed and a west gallery with kitchen facilities beneath was installed.
T Turner: The Church of the Good Shepherd Mannings Heath (Parish of Nuthurst Local History Society Booklet no 3), 2013