7 March 2022 Press Release

Funding Boost for St Wilfrid’s Church Hall, Pevensey Bay

St Wilfrid’s Church Hall is celebrating a £49,358.00 funding boost from SUEZ Communities Trust for their Refurbishment of Church hall project. This means closure of the hall, but not the Church from 28 March until the end of May.

In 2018, St Wilfrid’s Church Hall recognised that the hall needed major refurbishment; the first since being built in 1969. Initially it was thought this was roof re-felting, but our Architect, J D Clark’s Quinquennial report in 2019, showed that the unsound structure needs complete replacement. This phase also includes the ceiling, insulation, flooring and lighting to meet environmental standards. Other safety work and Disabled toilets were installed in 2020/21. Further work will be done in the next phases of the refurbishment, including the kitchen and windows.

Rev James Vine said that “Getting this funding from SUEZ Communities Trust has enabled us to get this part of the refurbishment project completed, using our Contractor, Rushbridges from Hailsham. This has taken years of raising funds by the Hall committee, for help from this and other funding streams. I am pleased that Rev Merriel Woodward is there to work with me in Pevensey Bay to be able to encourage residents to use the Church and the hall, which will provide a highly valued community venue for years to come. Our new Fairs on every second Saturday of the month, will resume after the hall has reopened following the building works in June. “

Marek Gordon, Chairman of SUEZ Communities Trust added “SUEZ Communities Trust provides funding awards through the Landfill Communities Fund. We were delighted to be able to offer funding to St Wilfrid’s Church Hall.”



After an initial drenching as we trudged down Peelings Lane in torrential rain, the weather brightened up and this turned out to be a wonderful day of meeting new people, making new friends, visiting new churches and praying together. Over 20 people (and one dog!) joined in the walk – with an age range of over seven decades. At each of the four churches visited one or two folk gave a short, but moving, talk about what their church meant to them and we joined together in prayer.

Many thanks to those who provided excellent refreshments along the way – even in places we were not expecting! Revd. Merriel


THANK YOU to Tina and her team and everyone who contributed food and drink or helped in anyway at all to make the St Wilfrid’s Patronal lunch such an enjoyable occasion.

Rhinoceros takes up residence in St Wilfrid’s car park. 

   Eight straw animal sculptures have been placed around Pevensey and Pevensey Bay to create a safari animal wildlife trail. The trail will be open from 14th to 31st August. Families can have fun as they follow the walking trail and learn interesting facts about each animal. A free trail map can be collected from the Information Centre in Sea Road car park or other venues around the Parish. The trail project is part of a summer makeover for Pevensey being funded by Wealden District Council to help businesses recover from the pandemic and encourage people back to the high street.


March 2018 – July 2021

On Sunday 4th July the parishioners of Pevensey said a fond farewell to Father Tony Windross on the occasion of his retirement after three years as Priest in Charge of the parish. Both congregations (St Wilfrid and St Nicolas) gathered at St Nicolas as Fr. Tony celebrated the Eucharist for the last time. It was a moving occasion and we all wish Fr. Tony and Pat a long and happy retirement.

Father Tony took up his ministry to our parish on March 13th 2018, when he was licenced to the parish by our diocesan Bishop, Martin.

Below is Father Tony’s original letter of introduction to the parishioners of Pevensey.

I was born in Margate, but grew up in Eastbourne. After leaving school I read economics and geography at Cambridge – and whilst there met and married Pat. We moved to Birmingham to study the post-graduate certificate of education – and I then taught in Eastbourne for 24 years, during which time our family steadily grew, with the arrival of four sons: Peter, David, Andrew and Paul. I was fortunate to have Nicholas Reade as my ordination training incumbent, and Tony Christian as my local tutor. I was ordained in 1993, and was based at St Mary’s Eastbourne as a non-stipendiary minister, before moving in 1997 to East Grinstead as a full-time curate. After two years, we moved to Sheringham in North Norfolk, where I was the vicar for nine years, before going in 2008 to Hythe in Kent, where I was vicar for six years. Wanting a fresh challenge, we then experienced rural ministry in Cornwall, where I’ve had responsibility for 8 churches over the last three years, combining this with being rural dean. Pat and I are very excited about this new adventure. We love the area, and look forward to getting to know the parish and people of Pevensey.

Original 1829 Tithe Map for Pevensey Unveiled and Dedicated

On 15th June 2021 the original 1829 Tithe Map for Pevensey was unveiled and Dedicated. It is positioned on the West Wall of the Church with a sample of the names of various people related to the plots marked on the map. The origination of the Tithe Map was a legal requirement for all Parishes and Towns in England. The Tithe Map of Pevensey was one of the first in the whole country and produced by C W Figg 

Until recently the Tithe Map was located in Pevensey Court House Museum but unfortunately due to lack of space was not on view to the Public. The Trustees have therefore asked if St Nicolas Church would display the Map. After a granting of a Faculty for the installation, this has now occurred and for the Public to be able to view in Our Church.


  1. Priest in Charge Fr Tony Windross &Churchwardens Linda Christian and Ken Phillips

  1. Peter Harrison ( Hon Curator , Pevensey Court House Museum) &  Churchwardens Linda Christion and Ken Phillips.

  1. Pevensey Tithe Map 1828


It is being officially announced today (28th February 2021) by the Bishop of Chichester; that on Tuesday the 7th of September Fr. James Vine (current incumbent at St Luke’s, Stone Cross) will be Licenced as Priest in Charge of the Parish of Pevensey in addition to his Incumbency at Saint Luke’s. This is an exciting development in the lives of the two parishes.

The Licencing will be conducted by Bishop Will and Archdeacon Edward at 7.30pm at St. Nicolas Pevensey.


We were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden death of Roy Spears, a faithful and longstanding servant of St Nicolas. He was our Head Server for over 25 years.

Rest eternal grant unto him O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.

RIP – Philip Freedman 19th June 1943 – 20th April 2020.


It is with deep sadness and regret that we announce the death of Phillip Freedman, a member of our Serving Team at St Nicolas for more than 10 years. He had been ill for sometime and passed away peacefully in his nursing home on 20th April 2020.

Rest eternal grant unto him O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.


Letter from your PCC Treasurer -21st March 2020


RIP – Christine (Chris) Gillings 1st May 1939 – 9th January 2020

The parish was devastated by news of the sudden death of Chris Gillings on the 9th of January 2020, Deputy Church Warden at St Wilfrid’s. She was at the heart of everything that happened in St Wilfrid’s, and it’s there that her loss will be most keenly felt. But she was also well-known to the congregation of St Nicolas, and of course the wider community. Her funeral was held at St Wilfrid’s on Thursday 13th February. Gone but never forgotten.

Rest eternal grant unto her O Lord and let light perpetual shine upon her.


Sunday 20th October 2019 Choral Evensong Sung by The Choir of Chichester Cathedral.

The visit by the Chichester Cathedral choir was wonderful. A full church and lots of heavenly singing! Many thanks to all who worked so hard to make it possible, with particular thanks to the catering crew, and all who donated goodies for the tea. Choir boys descended on it like the proverbial gannets, and were clearly hugely appreciative! What a great team we’ve got in this parish!

(Review published in our weekly Pew Sheet 27th October 2019)

St Nicolas Flower Festival 24th to 26th August 2019

Wow ! Record numbers attended our flower festival .

Big thanks to all who came and even bigger thanks to those who worked so hard to make it happen .



Gabriella Dall’Olio at St Nicolas, Pevensey
Posted on April 28, 2019


St Nicolas Church, Pevensey, Saturday 27 April 2019. Italian Harpist Gabriella Dall’Olio brought a charming and highly romantic programme to a comfortably full St Nicolas, which included some unexpectedly local connections. She has worked for some time now with composer Paul Lewis, who was present to introduce his own works, many which have also been recorded by her and were available at the concert.

But we were given a whirlwind tour of nineteenth century Europe to encase the more recent works, opening with a brief but delightful Andantino e Allegro Brillante by Rossini, followed by Parish Alvars’ Serenade. Gabriella Dall’Olio was playing a double action orchestral harp at this concert, which has a full range of tone and dynamic intensity. Parish Alvars was a formidable harpist in his own right and expanded the repertoire and technical finesse of the instrument, which was finely demonstrated in the changes of mood and texture she found in the Serenade together with the swirling glissandi.
Paul Lewis introduced his Postcards from Paris of which we heard the first two. Moonlight in Montmartre is a gently enfolding waltz, while Left Bank Nocturne is a more soulful, not to say introspective, vision of the heart of Paris’ intellectual life. We are promised Postcards from Bologna – and I am sure they will arrive soon. The first half ended with Felix Godefroid’s operatically expansive Etude de Concert.
Many members of the audience spent the interval talking to Gabriella and looking more closely at the harp, showing so much interest that it was agreed that there would be a short Q&A session at the end of the evening.
Grandjany’s Rhapsodie hinted at the composer’s strong organ-playing background, and he certainly demands a wide range of tone from his performers, but it was Guridi’s Viejo Zortzico, with is elegant 5/4 rhythms, which raised the spirits. It was then time for more from Paul Lewis in the form of his Saturday Night Jazz Suite. The three short pieces are deceptively simple on the ear but have more than enough musical integrity to be taken seriously. The suite opens with a laid-back Jazzette followed by a tribute to Harpo Marx in Blues for Harpo which even includes two brief look-no-hands passages, where the notes are controlled by the pedals rather than the deft fingers of the soloist.
It concludes with Blue Fiver – a tribute to Dave Brubeck and another piece in 5/4 – which would easily have satisfied any of the audience, but Gabriella was persuaded to add an encore, which she did in the shape of John Marston’s Humming Bird. If anything, this summed up both her professionalism and ease of delivery. It literally charmed the birds out of the trees and brought the evening to a warmly satisfying conclusion.


DECO DELIGHTS Sunday March 24th 2019



Old school charm with Deco Delights in Pevensey’s St Nicolas church Deco Delights  Brian Hick Published: 14:26 Monday 25 March 2019  It might seem rather risqué to sing cabaret songs in church on a fine Sunday afternoon but there was nothing in Sharon Lewis’ entertainment last Sunday to upset even the most prudish of potential listeners. Even Mae West’s wonderfully tongue-in-cheek I’d Rather Put It Off Until Tomorrow proves to be completely innocent by the time we get to the end. Deco Delights brought us an overview of songs from the mid-war period, and one has to admit there was so much good music written that she must have been spoilt for choice. Starting with Love Is The Sweetest Thing¸ we moved gently through I’ll String Along With You, and Begin The Beguine before getting to a more up-beat You’re The Cream In My Coffee and a very sensuous Lover Come Back To Me. Having taken in Mae West she also gave us a touch of Josephine Baker with J’ai Deux Amours before warning us all It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie. The final two items moved us into the world of theatre with Can’t Help Loving That Man Of Mine and Summertime, with its high-lying line sitting very comfortably in her voice. There was just time for Everything Stops For Tea before it did just that and large amounts of cake were on offer while the tea came round.Throughout Sharon Lewis was deftly accompanied by her composer husband Paul Lewis from the keyboard and his playing frequently underlined the humour of the songs. The rolling rhythms of Begin The Beguine were particularly apt. The next concert on April 27 brings us a solo harp and promises to be as entertaining as this series continues to prove to be. By Brian Hick.SUS-190325-140627001

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Musicians from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

On Sunday August 12th 2018 St Nicolas Church Pevensey was privileged to showcase four wonderful musicians from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, having the evening off from their schedule of performance at nearby Glyndebourne Opera.  The perfect acoustics of the church provided an optimum setting for their virtuosic performances on their period instruments: Neil McLaren – flute, Jane Gordon – violin, Simone Jandl – viola and Catherine Rimer – Cello.

We heard a perfect programme with each instrument taking centre stage for part of the performance, most notably when Catherine played the JS Bach Cello Suite in G- by her own account a  work of genius, but of fiendish complexity for the instrumentalist. With apparent consummate ease her bowing and fingering skipped lightly from dance to dance as the audience thrilled to the freshness and vivacity of the piece. On this occasion no-one actually danced in the aisles, but we were deliciously captivated by the performance.

The whole ensemble of Flute and 3 stringed instruments was deployed to superb effect in the little known Janitsch Quartet in D and the Quantz Quartet in C  and also in the better known Telmann’s “Paris” Quartet .  A youthful Mozart Duo in G for Violin and Viola and the Handel Sonata in B minor for flute and Violin completed the programme.  In all of the ensemble pieces, each individual instrumental line was articulated with perfect clarity and expression, to the great pleasure of the audience.

This was the 10th consecutive year when we have been honoured to host Neil McLaren and his ensemble; we look forward to welcoming them once again in 2019.