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The history of Lancing Methodist Church This history of Lancing Methodist Church was written by Eve Farrant towards the end of the last millennium.I was helped on this article by Ros and Maureen who added a short appendix at the end of Eve's original article to bring matters up to date. Many thanks to all concerned!




LANCING METHODIST CHURCH (previously known as the Wesleyan Methodist Church) by Eve Farrant




Sussex was the last Kingdom of England to embrace the Christian Gospel in the seventh century but it was not until the early 19th Century that Methodism came to this area. Cottage meetings began in Lancing in 1812 with six members and by 1850 services were being held in a converted barn.

Early members were

Elizabeth Gilbert
Mary Hodge
Elizabeth Lowling
Philadelphia Sharpe
Hariet Steadiman
Mary Taylor

Around 1872 a Chapel was built costing £450, Mr Northcroft who had been a member since 1861 donated the premises.  This building was at the rear of the present church.

In 1886 a schoolroom was opened.  At this time Sunday Schools were well attended.

In 1903 the stone-laying of a new Chapel in front of the old one took place, this is the main Church at time of writing. The church was opened in April 1904, it cost £1,750, the membership was then 76, my Father, Frank Lisher was one of them.  The stewards were Dan Young and John Bates.

In 1907 the Lancing people enjoyed a Lantern Lecture on John Wesley and with money raised a new  Rostrum, Baptismal Font and Communion Set were obtained

1908  Mrs S. Burton was elected as Organist on the retirement of Mr. J. Walls

Above. Miss Bunting's Private School

1909  An Organ costing £145 was installed

1910  The members had risen to 47 with the following year 80 Sunday School members so it was decided to enlarge the present room which was the early church and to build a Vestry, the cost was £800.

1912  Mrs D. Young was the Organist

1913 The Society Stewards were Mr. D. Young and Mr. F. Lisher.

1915 Mr. Charles R. Gammans  who had been a Sunday  School Superintendent for 25 years died

1921 Mr. R. C. Curd was appointed Organist in place of Mrs.D.Young


When I remember the Church and Sunday School, the infants met in the old kitchen area (now the Fellowship Room)  under Mr. J. James and around 100 in the enlarged school room, shutters would be pulled down, after assembly conducted by the Superintendent at that time,  and  small classes would be separated.

There was always a prize giving at the end of each year when a book would be given assessed on the number of attendances.  We had a Sunday School Class at 10 o'clock (many joining their parents at the Church Service at 11 a.m and they would meet again at  2.30 p.m. in the afternoon.  



Above. A Sunday School outing in the 1920's

A Summer Outing of the Sunday School took place once a year and I remember how noticeable it was how the attendance increased just before this event.   I think in the early days it would be locally (at the Manor or the Beach) but as I remember in 1920/30 would be to Burgess Hill or Hassocks Pleasure Gardens

1934 Mr. R. Curd who had been an Organist for 15 years died at the age of 41.  He had also been a Sunday School Superintendent.

1936  Miss Alice Young was the Organist, she had a beautiful voice and would often sing at weekly functions.

1947  Renovations to the Church took place and in 1952 the roof was replaced and attention to dry rot in the church also attended to. Membership was now 195

1954  To mark the Golden Jubilee the Central Rostrum was removed and a Pulpit erected to the side

1958  At this time two plots adjacent to the Church were bought with future  expansion in mind but in I960 this land was sold and a corner site, next to the  Church were bought for £2,750.  Members now were 250.


1963 -Stone laying for new Hall took place, these  stones being laid by Mr Frank Lisher on behalf  of the Stewards and his grand­daughter, Lynda Farrant ant on behalf of the youth of the Church. By 1965 the cost of this Hall was cleared.   It had cost £13,000 and included the Kitchen, toilets and heating system 1969  The church had a new Organ costing £1,600, memberships now 268.





Above. Stone laid in 1963





In 1966  Frank Lisher died, he had taken a very active Dart in the life of the Church as a Circuit Steward, Society Steward and Chapel. Steward.  A Sunday School Superintendent for many years, Secretary of the Church Leaders Meeting for 50 years and Also the Treasurer for a number of years. Just before he died he donated £1000







Above. The Ladies Sewing Club in the 1960's


1969 New organ installed

1975 - New rooms were built at the back of the west hall for £5,000, useful for use when entertainment took place, also for meetings and use of the Sunday School. A Porch was erected at the front of the church costing between £8,500 and £9,000.In 1999 other improvements being considered. I remember my Father talking of a Band of Hope being run on the premises.  He and others signed the Pledge agreeing not to take any alcohol and he stuck to this throughout his life.

A Women's Sewing Meeting was held in 1920's with a group of ladies who would meet socially and as they chatted make and embroider pillow cases of white linen, table cloths etc. for sale at the Annual Bazaar held usually .just before Christmas to raise money for church funds.  These meetings taking place at a Mrs Curd's house in Penhill Road.

A Wesley Guild started in the 193O's and apart for a short period during the War has continued to meet and instill quite well supported today.




Above. New organ was installed in 1969

In the 1940's a Young Wives Group was formed, later called the Wives Club and this continues today as "Ladies Night".



Mr. Cass started a Scout Group on the premises but it moved opposite when Mr Mason gave money for a Scout Hall to be built opposite.

Guides and Brownie Companies (5th Lancing) started and are still running today.

Also Rainbows for the younger children. Youth Clubs have been started at different times in the church history, flourishes and then dropped off as in later days youth went to College, and they have been closed. My children Colin and Lynda Parrant both attended and enjoyed the Youth Club in 1960's.






Above. 1970's Newsletter



I note that in 1960's the church had a flourishing Men's Fellowship of over 100 members. I can remember giving talks at these meetings (on various holidays) and showing slides. As I write this the meeting has been closed.
The Church runs a Coffee Morning every Friday.

The Church did have a Manse in Sompting Road and a Resident Minister but is now served by Worthing's Superintendent Minister.






Above. The opening of the New Hall

Appendix to bring matters up to date

The old kitchen, which became the Fellowship Room, has now been made into a kitchen for use with the Lower Hall, a disabled toilet and lift.
The enlarged school room is now the Lower hall.
The 4th Lancing Scout Group started with Cubs in 1974.
The Friday Shoppers Service is from 10.30 to 11.00 a.m. and is as well as the Sunday Service.
As well as the uniformed organisations meeting now, we have the 'Rascals Boys Club' for boys aged 5 - 8 which meets on Thursdays from 4.30 - 6.00 p.m.


Below. Modern day photo gallery, click on a picture to enlarge it




Minister: Rev. Andrew Reed 01903 750247

page created 05/02/12