The Presbytery, 12 Church Road, Selsey, West Sussex PO20 0LS
A mainstream post-war design, distinguished by some artworks and furnishings of a high order.
In the seventh century St Wilfrid established a see at Selsey and converted the pagans of the Kingdom of Sussex to Christianity.
The first church in modern times was built in Station Road (now Church Road). Built in 1919, this was a modest concrete structure. It was replaced by the present church, built from designs by Richard Gosford, in 1961-2; the builder was W. Stirling. The church was officially opened by Bishop Cowderoy on 30 May 1962. The cost, including original furnishings, was £26,000. Selsey became an independent parish in 1970, and a presbytery was built alongside the church in 1972.
The church is built of reconstituted stone, to a longitudinal plan with a clerestoreyed nave and sanctuary in one, aisles and projecting south west tower with saddleback roof. Later church community rooms are attached to the north east and the presbytery stands to the south. Architecturally the building is a mainstream design of its time, and what distinguishes it are the artworks and furnishings. Outside, on the west wall is a large low relief carving of Our Lady with the Child Jesus and St Wilfrid in a boat, by Philip Lindsey Clarke, from a design by David O’Connell. By O’Connell too is the altar triptych, depicting the Crucifixion with Our Lady and St Wilfrid. The stained glass Stations of the Cross are by Joseph Nuttgens, as are four side windows in the sanctuary representing the Four Evangelists. The Bath stone font is by John Skelton, nephew and apprentice of Eric Gill. However perhaps the best feature is a window in the entrance lobby by Pierre Fourmaintreaux of Powell & Sons of Whitefriars, incorporating a fish symbol.
Amended by AHP 15.02.2021, adding information from parish website and other sources.
Architect: Richard Gosford (parish website)
Original Date: 1961
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed