Wednesday, 5 August 2015

St Andrew, Didling

Situated high up on the northern slopes of the South Downs, Didling is well-known as the "Shepherd's Church". It lies at the end of a lane, quite isolated, surrounded by fields and trees.

The building is a simple 13th cell, with the nave and chancel without aisles or a chancel arch. The joy lies not just in its location, but in its unrestored feel, with rustic mediaeval pews and Jacobean altar rail, and a simple 12th century tub font. The church has no electricity and is candle-lit in winter, with candle-holders on the pew ends and simple candle holders hanging from the ceiling - chandelier isn't really the right word here.

The churchyard has a great yew, axe recalling an attempt to fell it in the 19th century. It was saved by the intervention of a passing parishioner.

St Andrew, Bugshill Lane, Didling, West Sussex, GU29 0LG

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