Welcome to the Friends of Hamsey Church


Please note this is an updated flyer for the coming weekend event as the programme has changed slightly due to Covid and Health & Safety issues.
We can only take cash for refreshments, donations and other purchases.
It is a pleasant stroll along the river from Lewes to Hamsey Church on a fine day if you wish to leave your car at home!


The Friends Committee have developed a re-management plan for the churchyard and particularly appreciate the enthusiasm of the team of volunteers who turned out on Saturday to bring the land into line with it, for the benefit of the rich wildlife as well as for the people who enjoy visiting the graves and just enjoying the peace and natural quiet of this special place.

Much fundraising is needed to help with repair to the fabric of the church. In the next few months the old rendering on the south walls will be removed and replaced. A combination of failed lime mortar and poor concrete repairs is allowing damp to penetrate. We are also hoping to repair (remake!) several leaking windows, incorporating ventilation hoppers. Once the walls have fully dried out the interior walls can be painted again. We have sufficient funds promised for the render work, but need to raise at least another £20,000 to repair the windows and repaint the interior walls.

We will be holding an Open Day this summer, if Covid restrictions allow, and there will be an art exhibition once again.

If anyone has any ideas for fundraising please do get in touch and if you feel inclined to join our committee do come forward, we are in need of some “young blood”.





You may think the Friends of Hamsey committee has gone to sleep - not so!  It is zooming, and enthusiasm for saving our wonderful old church is undiminished. The church can’t be open at the moment, but restoration plans carry on.

We have first to make the sad announcement of the death of Caroline Featherstone, after a long illness.  Despite her failing health, she chaired the Events committee with great success from the outset, and as one of the earliest members of the Friends of Hamsey committee, was been a valuable link to the Parochial Church Council, of which she was also a member. 

Our heartfelt condolences go to her family. Caroline will be greatly missed. 

At the February Zoom meeting of the committee, the various matters discussed included the recent expert investigations into possible wall paintings – some painted wording will be preserved, but nothing really interesting has been discovered. So once the exterior of the church has been fixed, we will be able to re-paint the inner walls.  

It was discovered that the Shiffner wall memorials near the altar were no longer safely attached, so work has been done on these, and all is well. 

Leaking windows are a problem, and glaziers have been approached to put this right.   

An exciting project is a change in the management of the graveyard.  These areas are regarded as ideal places to encourage wild-life of all kinds, and plans are afoot, with expert advice, to change the mowing pattern at Hamsey. There will be with mown paths for access but no overall mowing until plants have seeded. We need volunteers to help rake up the mowings. A large number of wild flowers have already been identified, and we hope for more butterflies and bees to enjoy them 

The Visitor’s book in the church shows just how many people are attracted to it, and church opening at week-ends will resume as soon as this is permitted. 

This led to a discussion on finding someone else as energetic and committed as Caroline Featherstone to lead the fund-raising which is so necessary for keeping the work on Hamsey going.  Volunteers will be warmly welcomed, and if you would like to lead or join  the Events committee, please get in touch!  An Open Day in the summer, possibly an art exhibition, and concerts could be the next things. 

Younger members on both these committees are also wanted, so that some of the older ones can retire!

The committee talked about applying to the National Lottery for a grant for the work needed on Hamsey church.  This would be complicated and time consuming - if necessary we would have to fund someone professional to the do the actual application, but we need someone to master- mind the plan. There must be some expertise available in Cooksbridge, Hamsey, Offham or Lewes? Once again, volunteers, please!

Committee:  Nick Lear (Chair) Diane Costall, Bob Doran, Rev. Anne Dunlop, Andrew Featherstone, Jo Hughes, Marion Hughes, Harriet Lear, Angela Murphy (Hon. Sec), Alice Renton, Sue Rowland.




We have to record the sad news of the death of the Rev Derek Bastide, rector of St Peter’s, Offham and Hamsey, for over 35 years. We are deeply grateful for all he did in his long tenure, and for his support in the efforts to save Hamsey Church. Derek died peacefully after a prolonged illness, and our thoughts and condolences go to his wife, Judith, and family. 
April 27, 2020
After two years of interregnum, the Churchwardens are delighted to announce that the Reverend Anne Dunlop will shortly be appointed House for Duty Priest at St Peter’s Church, Offham. Formerly associated with Exeter Cathedral, the Rev’d Dunlop is currently Assistant Priest at St Mary and St Peter, Hampden Park.
Her licensing service will be held at St Peter’s Church, Offham, on Saturday 15 February 2020 at 11.30 am. Her first service as our priest will be on Sunday 16 February at 10.30 am.

New Award for Hamsey Church


We are pleased to announce that the Hamsey reroofing project has won two Sussex Heritage Trust (www.sussexheritagetrust.org.uk) awards: in the Building Craft category and also in the Ecclesiastical category.

The judges made the following comments:

Building Craft: “Well-executed roof restoration done to high standard with imaginative re-use of clay tiles and Horsham slates which will improve sustainability, combined with sensitive and effective treatment of critical works to establish the structural integrity of the building. Well done!”

Ecclesiastical: “A thoroughly considered approach to the project, demonstrating detailed knowledge of materials, new and reused. A collaborative approach with architect and client which successfully tackled issues that arose. Finished job enhanced an already beautiful building.”

The work was carried out in the Spring of 2017 by Clarke Roofing Southern Ltd



Roofing work in progress

Roofing work in progress

Please sign the visitors book if you visit the church

Please sign the visitors book if you visit the church

The new roof

The new roof

Friends of Hamsey © 2016