An Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty in the Sussex Weald
A community website serving residents and visitors in the three villages of
Burwash, Burwash Common and Burwash Weald
St. Philip’s Burwash Weald

St. Philip’s Burwash Weald

Located on Stonegate Road, Burwash Weald.

Vicar (priest-in-charge):
The Rev John Hawkins
Tel: 01435 883287
(Email: john.c.hawkins@btinternet.com)

Honorary Assistant Minister:
The Rev John Banner
Tel: 01435 882977

Mr Mervyn Valentine
Mr Peter Thompson

Sunday Services at St Philip’s

8.00 Every Sunday Holy Communion. A traditional Prayer Book Service, ideal for those looking for a quiet, formal and reflective service, without singing.
10.30 1st Sunday of the Month: Family Service. A relaxed service using our own family service booklet
10.30 2nd Sunday of the Month: Holy Communion. Using the Book of Common Prayer.
10.30 3rd Sunday of the Month: Family Communion. Using the more modern Common Worship format
10.30 4th Sunday of the Month: Morning Worship. Following an Order of Morning Prayer booklet in a contemporary style.

Refreshments: Take time to stay and meet friends over a cup of coffee or tea and biscuits after most services. This is a golden opportunity to get to know us.

Occasional Services

Baptisms: Baptisms take place within normal Sunday morning services and we welcome enquiries baptism from families who live in our parish and from others who worship regularly with us. People can be baptised at any age and we try to prepare all candidates as well as possible before they come to their christening in ways that are appropriate for their own age and circumstances. Initial enquiries about baptism should be made to the Vicar.

Weddings: We love having weddings at St Philip's and hope you will come to talk to us about yours when the time is right! Contact the Vicar for your initial enquiry.

Funerals: The clergy are always ready to officiate at the funerals of our parishioners and also, when requested, to bury the ashes in our churchyard. Arrangements are usually made by the local funeral directors, but you can also contact the Vicar for more details.

Confirmation: We hope that all who were baptised as infants will one day make their own affirmation of faith. This may be while you are still in your teens or much later in life. We only ask that you come to some preparation classes and are ready to make your own profession of faith. The Bishop presides at this service which may be at St Philips or at another local church. If you are interested in being confirmed, please contact the Vicar.

Children’s Activities

Children’s Corner

We have an informal area at the back of the church where small children are welcome to read, play with the soft toys or colour in the pew sheets related to our services.

Sunday School

Our Sunday School meets in the church vestry at 10.30 on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Sundays of the month, (which allows parents to attend the service taking part in the church). We have lots of fun learning about Jesus, with songs, stories, craft, painting, and the like. On the first Sunday we are all together in the church for the Family Service. Pre-school children are welcome to come into the vestry if they become restless, or in the later part of the service.

Daily Prayer

Each morning, Monday to Friday at 7.45 am there is a half-hour of prayer and worship to begin the day.

St. Philip’s Burwash Weald

History of the Church

The church of St Philip’s, Burwash Weald is set back from the B2181 (commonly known as the Stonegate Road) in Burwash Common. It was consecrated in 1867 and reflects the vision and determination of three remarkable Victorian ladies, the Misses Georgiana, Emily and Sophia Trower. They came to the Common in 1864 when they bought a little farm called Hollyhurst (now Buckles) and found themselves amongst people who were “rough and uneducated, with the reputation of being poachers and smugglers.”

Prior to this there was a Wesleyan Chapel in Burwash Weald and the Rector of Burwash also provided a room for occasional services in the ‘Wheel’, formerly a parish Poor House. Anyone wishing to attend a Church of England service had to make their way to St Bartholomew’s as best they could. With missionary zeal, the three ladies set about changing things. They first established a Sunday School in the Church room and by 1866 this had become a week-day school. At the same time the sisters provided an acre of land from their estate and as much sand and stone as could be found on the place in order to build a church.

Money was raised and a start made on the building in 1866 and except for four granite pillars which were brought by train and ox-cart, it was constructed from local materials and completed in about a year. The church and churchyard were consecrated by the Bishop of Chichester on 29 August 1867. The sermon was preached by the Bishop of Gibraltar, the brother of the Misses Trower.

For ten years the church was serviced, as a ‘chapel of ease’, by the Rev. John Coker Egerton (Rector of Burwash from 1867 to 1888.) But in 1877 parts of Burwash, Mayfield and Heathfield parishes were put together to form a new ecclesiastical district with its own incumbent under the patronage of the Bishop of Chichester.

A school was built alongside the church and opened in 1868. This served the parish well until dwindling numbers forced its closure in 1963. It is now the Freemason’s Hall. On ‘founder’s day’ the children all laid posy’s on the Memorial to the Trower Sisters and in return received an orange and a bun – a practice that is continued by the Sunday School on St Philip’s day each year.

Notable Features

St Philip’s is a beautiful building with a warm atmosphere. Unlike many Victorian churches that could be quite imposing, it was conceived in the style of a Sussex barn built of local stone and with the traditional long sloping roof of Sussex domestic architecture. The East end is apsidal in form with a piscine (presented by the Rev. A. P. Spelman, Vicar from 1910 to 1937 and for many years president of the Burwash Weald Cricket Club) and six stained glass windows, three of which commemorate the Trower sisters. The three central windows were given in 1917 while original windows were moved to the West end. The pulpit and font are of Bath Stone. An organ was installed in 1882 to which an electric bellows was added in 1946 (before that small boys were employed to operate a hand pump.) A lych-gate was added by the road in 1916 in memory of Francis Logie-Pirie of Tottingworth. There was a small vestry built in 1906 and this was extended in 1993, following the sale of the last of the church cottages, to form a useful room.

|skip to navigation |skip to page content|