Pevensey Bay – St Wilfrid

A church, built of brick and dedicated to St James, was opened in 1881.  This served also as a school, but was pulled down in 1971  There was a further church, opened in 1866, at Norman’s Bay further east, which was demolished in 1975 (BE(E) p583).

The church of 1881 had already been replaced by the present church, which was built in 1968-69 in the part of the parish closer to the coast, designed by Benz and Williams (BE(E) ibid).  The material chosen is again brick and its distinctive feature is at the east end, which has a taller, copper-clad roof of triangular section over the altar, the straight side of which is glazed.  Inside, the pillars that flank this higher part are also clad in copper.  Otherwise, the sanctuary is ceiled in white.

At the other end of the church, across a common entrance vestibule, a hall is attached, also with copper cladding.


1. (North nave) Three tall and narrow panels, symbolic figures of saints designed by A E Buss (who lived in retirement at Eastbourne nearby) and made by Goddard and Gibbs, 1974 (signed with the company’s mark of a sailing ship, with ‘G and G’ on the sail and ‘AEB’ on the hull).  Though Buss was no longer chief designer for Goddard and Gibbs, he continued to use them for the glass he designed as a freelance.
2. (Glass panel affixed to south window) The calling of the Disciples by R Rutherford, 1965 (Adjacent notice) and presumably originally in one of the predecessor churches.  Expressionist in style with prominent leading.

My thanks to Nick Wiseman for the photographs