S. Mary’s Church & The Walsingham Chapel
S. Mary’s Church, in the heart of the village of Buxted was erected and endowed by Father A.D. Wagner. The church (Grade II listed) was consecrated in 1887. The small church, built in the traditional Sussex style, is of flint construction, in line with the Wagner churches of Brighton, and is the only church built by him in the Sussex countryside. S. Mary’s, designed to promote the Catholic faith, had, at one time, a community of religious (the Society of S. Mary) attached to the parish.The Lady Chapel (or Walsingham Chapel) was built to the dimensions of the medieval Holy House at Walsingham in Norfolk. In turn these dimensions are as those of the Holy House at Nazareth. The ancient shrine of Walsingham was destroyed in the 16th Century, so the Walsingham Chapel at S. Mary’s became the first restored Holy House and precursor of the revival of devotion to our Lady of Walsingham in England. Father Hope Patten, once curate of S. Mary’s and then parish Priest at Walsingham was instrumental in rebuilding the current shrine. It is a recognised fact, that without S. Mary’s Buxted, there would probably be no shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham, either Anglican or Roman Catholic.
Quote from the pamphlet ‘Nazareth in Sussex’, first printed in 1934:
“May Nazareth in Sussex, standing as a witness to the doctrine of the Incarnation in the Southern Counties, become known and loved, and draw many to visit this Shrine who, for one reason or another, are but seldom able to ‘take the Walsingham Way’”.
Sundays: 11.15 a.m. Parish Mass 2nd Wednesday of the month: 10.30 a.m. Walsingham Cell Mass 4th Wednesday of the month: 10.30 a.m. Walsingham Cell House Group The church is open daily for visitors.
Concerts are held throughout the year. For further information please view the parish website: www.bhdchurches.org.uk or the Buxted Messenger
Pilgrimage to “England’s Nazareth in Sussex”
If you or your parish would like to arrange a special pilgrimage to S. Mary’s please contact: Colin Woolgrove Tel: 01825 830076. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org If you wish to celebrate Mass and are unable to bring your own priest, please let us know in advance. The Parish of Buxted and Hadlow Down, of which S. Mary’s is part, comprises a variety of churchmanship. In consequence, there is no resolution in place under the House of Bishops’ Declaration. However, the Rector gives his assurance that only male priests will celebrate the Eucharist at S. Mary’s. There is an outside space for picnics, when the weather permits, and a church hall that can be used with adequate notice. We are happy to provide tea and coffee.
S. Mary’s underwent an extensive internal redecoration programme in 2016. However, in common with many other churches, there is always something else to do. Future projects include a new roof, repairs to the stained glass windows and a certain amount of re-ordering. All donations will be gratefully received.