Mayfield - St Thomas of Canterbury

Priest’s House, Station Road, Mayfield, East Sussex TN20 6BU

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Bingham Towner’s churches are generally simple and well crafted though lacking originality.  The quality of materials used at Mayfield is better than at many of his churches.  Unlike Rottingdean the church at Mayfield does not make good use of the site.  It is barely visible from the road and even within the site the tower is tucked away and screened by trees.  Internally the light and proportions create a welcoming and attractive space.  However the church is not of any special interest and is unlikely ever to merit statutory listing.

The foundation stone is dated 1957.  Replacing a church of 1932.  Nave and sanctuary in one, south aisle, south west porch and short north tower with saddleback roof, largely screened from view by trees.  Flint with ashlar dressings.  The fenestration is of secular gothic type, i.e. simple mullioned windows with four-centred heads.  The interior is light and airy with two tiers of windows on the north side.  Stained glass in two chancel windows by Cox & Barnard, 1987 and 2000.

Henry Bingham Towner (1909-1997) was born and lived his life at Uckfield.  He wanted to become a priest but, deciding that he was not suited to the church, he trained as an architect and set up on his own in Uckfield in 1938.  He specialised in church architecture and designed more than 25 new churches including St Wilfrids, Hailsham 1954, St Thomas of Canterbury, Mayfield 1957, Our Lady of Lourdes, Rottingdean 1957, St John Vianney Bexley Heath, St Teresa of Avila, Chiddingfold 1959, St Gabriel Billingshurst 1961, St Charles Borromeo, Worthing 1962, St Thomas More, Patcham 1963, St Thomas More, Seaford additions 1969 to church of 1935, St Francis of Assisi, Moulsecomb, additions 1969 to church of 1939, Holy Rood Pevensey Bay 1964,  St Joseph’s Milford 1969, Christ the King, Langney 1970, Holy Family, Lancing 1970

Diocese: Arundel and Brighton

Architect: Henry Bingham Towner

Original Date: 1957

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed