Northiam - St Teresa of Lisieux

Horn’s Cross between Northiam and Brede East Sussex

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The land for the church was given by local writer and historian Sheila Kaye-Smith who died in 1956 and the church was probably built around that time.  A simple unadorned brick building of almost domestic appearance.  

Within there is a delightful carved stone relief by Joseph Cribb, originally at the chapel of St Joseph & St Dominc on Ditchling Common.  In 1913, the 31 year-old Eric Gill, received into the Catholic church earlier that year, with his wife Mary and 3 daughters brought a house and land at the south end of Ditchling Common with the intention of being as self-sufficient as possible and to be in harmony with nature and God. The house was called Hopkins Crank.  Together with Hilary and Clare Pepler they purchased land in 1919 adjacent to Folders Lane and began building a chapel, workshops and 3 cottages.  Joseph Cribb joined the commune on release from the army.  In 1921 the Guild of St Joseph & St Dominic was formed and by 1922 there were 41 Catholics living and working there.  St Dominic’s Chapel was completed in 1921.  Either side of the altar were relief panels by Cribb, and the one on the right is that now at Northiam.

Whilst a simple and attractive building in a beautiful rural location, the church is of no architectural distinction.  It is the fine Joseph Cribb relief stone carved panel that is of considerable merit and importance.  Should the church ever cease to be used it would be most important to find a new and appropriate home for this precious object.

Diocese: Arundel and Brighton

Original Date: 1956

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed