Danehill, East Sussex – All Saints

Having lunched north of Sheffield Park gardens I checked my “Betjeman Best Churches” app and found that All Saints’, Danehill, East Sussex is worth a visit – TQ402275.  They have a website, and you can download the guide to the Kempe windows (I haven’t photoed them all). There is also a guide to Sussex churches at this website.


The first church in this community only dates to 1835, and it was damaged by fire in 1887. Herbert Carey, a local, suggested they needed a new church, and his widow and family paid for it. The architect was G.F. Bodley. Born in Hull in 1827 he became pupil, then assistant, of George Gilbert Scott, then founded his own practice in Brighton. He worked in “Gothic revival”, with people like Burne-Jones and Morris and Company – though apparently that relationship was strained as he believe the glass designer should be subordinate to the architect. He died in 1907. This church was completed in 1892, at a cost of £12,000.

dsc05455dsc05456It was lovely to walk in to, and there is a very helpful notice about the lights – thank you on a dark afternoon. It certainly makes you look up and enjoy.


The reredos is by Comper – stunning!


The south window of the Quire depicts Michael and All Angels – I love the peacock feathers.


The East window of the Lady Chapel represents the Incarnation with hosts of rejoicing angels – note the amount of incense they are chucking (“chucking” is an ecclesiastical term meaning “enough incense to make the Canon Pastor cough”).


This Resurrection window in the North Aisle was added after WW1, by which time the Kempe company was directed by William Ernest Tower.


I liked this Madonna and child too.


I have to be honest with my readers and tell you there is far more to this church than the windows I have photographed. If you love stained glass, take yourself here. Immerse yourself in the colours, the peacock feathers, the pictures of the Gospel. Enjoy too the pictures of many of the great saints of the church, all of whom have wonderful stories to tell. This church also comes across as a place where the people of God are active and alive – you get the impression is not just a church with lovely glass, but a church where the vibrancy of the glass has an effect on those who worship here.

We continued to Waitrose (sublime to ridiculous?), then back to the house.  Today had been a very colourful day.


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