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Living Worshipfully  
  Living Contentedly   
Living Together       
Living for Others 
  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5 

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About our Benefice


Welcome  to... St Mary’s Clymping, St. Mary’s Yapton and St. Andrew’s Ford - the 3 churches that make up our Group (Benefice).


Through the month there are services at different times, places and styles. Our hope is that you will find an approach to worship that will be helpful to you. (Services can change, do check with office or website).

Services range from child friendly family services, Holy Communion services and traditional ‘old style’ services. In addition, there are a number of Fellowship groups that meet regularly, social gatherings, courses, choirs, music groups and plenty of opportunities to get involved and serve. 

Please do contact us if you have any questions or want to know more.

Alternatively, come and see us at one of our services or events...



St Andrew-by-the-Ford

   St Andrew-by-the-Ford is a tiny church of Saxon origin. The church originally served a small community which was abandoned in 1608. Seven styles of architecture are represented in this tiny Saxon church which has had a chequered history of fire, restoration and extension.

  The fine roof has oak and chestnut timbers; one was dated 1363 during the 1999 restoration work.

  The church is a simple, two-cell structure, with a nave and chancel, and a porch added in 1637 in the Dutch style. The interior is dark - especially so since there is no electricity here. It is dominated by the Norman chancel arch, which has mouldings with a simple X-shape decoration. The walls are pierced by small Norman windows, although the Chancel has a fine decorated window of about 1320. In the vestry are the remains of a Saxon arch, dated from around the turn of the 10th-11th centuries.

  The walls show traces - although rather indistinct - of extensive wall paintings. Those above the chancel arch show the Doom painting (The Last Judgement), with the remains of devils (their feet, actually) forcing the damned into the mouth of a great red beast.

  The church was restored in 1899 by Phillip Johnston, Diocesan architect, who has left a very detailed account of the work in the Sussex Archaeological Collection. One hundred years later the church underwent major restoration work with the help of a substantial grant from English Heritage and charitable trusts along with private donations. The Diocesan architect Richard Meynell was awarded the King of Prussia gold medal for his outstanding work.

  The font bowl is made from a large square limestone block. It was thrown out during the works in 1865 and retrieved from a farmyard in 1899.

  The bell chamber contains two bells; the treble bell is inscribed ‘+ROBERT RIDRE ME FECIT’; Robert Rider worked between 1351-86. The second bell was possibly made in the 17th century but has no markings. 

The Church of St Mary at Clymping

  The church was built by John of Clymping about 1230 who was Rector from about 1223.  He was later Bishop of Chichester from 1253 until 1262 and was involved in the building of the Cathedral.  For a village church it was large - the nave and chancel together being nearly 100 feet long. Pews were first installed in the early 15th century; some pew ends in the front are original, dating from about 1420 and the font is late 14th century. The pulpit dates from the 14th century but its carved design echoes the architecture of the church.

   The south transept was included in the design to connect the nave with the tower thus becoming an integral part of the building and a balance with the north transept.  Stone was imported from quarries in Caen in Normandy.  It is quite possible that the masons, like the stone, came from Normandy. 

   The chancel is unusually large, thirty feet long and very impressive in its overall proportions.  The lancet windows at the east have a particularly fine setting and were installed in 1921 in memory of men who died in World War I and also of the Reverend Henry Green, Vicar from 1888 to 1918.  The richly coloured glass in the rose window depicting the Virgin and Child is modem, by John Baker of Canterbury.  It was installed in 1959.

   Two standards are laid up; one of the Royal Naval Association and one of the Royal Air Force Association.  The wooden plaque is for HMS Peregrine, the Royal Naval Air Station at Ford during World War II.  The churchyard contains a memorial to 28 service personnel and civilians who died in an air raid on 18 August 1940.  There are also a number of war graves which are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

   The north transept, or the Chapel of Jesus, named because of the paintings by Heywood Hardy depicting the life of Christ.  This was a controversial series of biblical scenes portraying Christ walking in the Sussex countryside, surrounded by recognisable contemporary village dignitaries.  These panels were painted to mark the 700th anniversary of Clymping Church. 


The Church of St Mary at Yapton

  Yapton Parish Church is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. The whole structure is still much the same as it was when it was completed in about 1230, although there is some later and some earlier work; there are traces of pre-Conquest work.

  Sussex is not a county of stone-quarries, although there were some in the Weald, but the sea shore provided ample building material in the shape of the large flints thrown up by the waves, and the walling of Yapton Church, like most of the churches in the plain between the downs and the sea, is built of these flints.

The 14th century west porch is a comparatively rare feature. and the Nave is Transitional-Norman, built during the period 1180-1230.

  The font which stands on a modern circular base of York stone, is remarkably interesting and one of the treasures of the church. It is a large round basin made of a hard freshwater limestone carved on the outside with eight tall arches in shallow relief containing elongated sword-shaped crosses. There is little doubt that this font is pre-Conquest, and stood in the original Saxon Church..

  The Arcades divide the aisles from the Nave. The North arcade has four arches, two of the columns being octagonal, the middle one circular. The South arcade has three arches, with octagonal columns. The carving on the capitals of the South arcade has been left unfinished. There is a tradition that they were called away to help with the rebuilding of the Cathedral at Chichester so much of which had been destroyed by a great fire in 1187, and that the work of reconstruction took twelve years so that the unfinished carving at Yapton became forgotten and was never completed; or perhaps the money simply ran out!

  The Chancel and Chancel Arch are Early English and were built in about 1200-1222.

  The present East Window of three tail lancets under one enclosing arch was designed by Philip Johnston and installed in 1902. Before this there were three separate lancet windows of the same design as those in the North and South walls of the chancel. Traces of the original windows can be seen on either side of the present window.

In 2017 a new west window, designed by Derek Hunt,  was installed and is dedicated as a Peace Window.

  The Tower which is Transitional-Norman was built between 1180 and 1230. It was built against part of the West and South walls of an older nave without bonding in, which proves that the nave walls are earlier, and the lower part of the North wall of the tower is still the South wall of the Saxon church. The Church has six bells one is 14th century and another to 1615. In 1985, the two new bells were added to complete the ring of six. The Tower is several degrees out of the perpendicular, and is supported by massive buttresses built in the 14th and 16th century and some beautifully moulded stones that appear to have been part of the late 13th century door or window are built into its face. The tower is surmounted by a shingled timber spirelet of pyramidal form.

  The churchyard has many interesting graves including three War Graves to the memory of Leading Stoker Frederick Henry Knight RN (died 1945), Lance Sergeant Albert Wilson (died 1915) and Sergeant F J Saxby (died 1916). These are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.


NSPCC Helpline

A special helpline has been set up for those who have been affected either directly or indirectly by any recent publicity. The helpline will be staffed by the NSPCC and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls will be handled sensitively and confidentially. Where appropriate, callers will be referred to specially trained police officers and, if required, a range of local counselling services, who are ready to offer expert support to those who come forward. 

The helpline number is;
0800 389 5344 
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