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Tours > Sussex Churches > Slaugham

St. Mary - Slaugham
TQ 257281; Four Miles North-West of Cuckfield

Nelson's sister is buried here. Her memorial is fixed to the east end of the church in what must be one of the largest churchyards in the county. A perambulation of the exterior leaves one baffled for there are so many bits built on of very widely differing dates. Even the tower has a noticeable horizontal joint to it!

The church is entered through the tower which brings you into a most welcoming interior. The art-deco style lighting is very effective even though its appearance is quite a shock in a country church. Unfortunately the church suffered at the hands of the nineteenth century restorers who greatly enlarged the south aisle. The original proportions of the aisle can be seen in the west wall. It would be nice to think that the architect responsible left the old join as an indication to future historians of the extent of his work.

On the north wall of the thirteenth century chancel is a canopied recess which forms an Easter Sepulchre. These structures were, for most of the year, an ordinary tomb or monument but at Easter the flat shelf they featured was used to hold the consecrated wafer that formed an object of devotion from Maundy Thursday to Easter Day. They invariably stand on the north side of the chancel, most commonly within the sanctuary. This one was erected by Richard Covert in the first half of the sixteenth century and shows his brass effigy and those of his three wives on its backplate. On the south wall of the south chapel is a memorial to another Richard Covert. It shows more than a dozen kneeling figures with the rare addition of the initials of their Christian names over their heads! A final feature not to be missed is the stylised carving of a fish - an early Christian symbol - on one side of the Norman Font carved of local Sussex marble.

Next Stop: Twineham

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