Hailsham - St Wilfrid

South Road, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 3JG

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Henry Bingham Towner’s churches are mostly of modest pretensions.  St Wilfrid’s is the smallest of the churches he designed in the diocese.  Whilst a pleasant little building it is unlikely ever to merit statutory listing.

Mass was said in a private house in Upper Dicker in 1915, and from July 1917 mass was said in a rented space in the former Lynn’s Brewery at Hailsham.  Some land was acquired near the railway station in 1920 and a Catholic church was opened there on 12th August 1922.  The permanent church of St Wifrid’s was built on this site in 1955 by the Uckfield architect Henry Bingham Towner.  The foundation stone was laid in June 1954 and the church opened the following year. Towner is known to have designed eight churches in the Arundel & Brighton diocese, generally well crafted but modest buildings built to a tight budget.  St Wilfrid’s is the smallest and first of them, just a simple rectangular box.  Porch and sacristy where added in 1966.  The presbytery was built in 1957.  All were designed by Towner.  The windows are mullioned with shallow-arched lights, more Tudor domestic in form than ecclesiastical.  Unusually the church is built in yellow brick.

Diocese: Arundel and Brighton

Architect: Henry Bingham Towner

Original Date: 1954

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed