Sompting parish church: Doors to open for Sunday services for the first time for many years

Sompting parish church is set to open for regular services for the first time for many years.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 11:28 am

The Diocese of Chichester’s Sompting churches are currently under the pastoral care of St Michael and All Angels in Lancing and at the moment, services are being held at St Peter’s Church, in Bowness Avenue.

There are no regular services at St Mary the Virgin, in Church Lane, but the church has recently opened for private prayer and visitors on Tuesdays from 10am to 2pm.

Come August, Sunday services will return and to celebrate, a full week of free community events have been planned, including talks, tours, a flower festival and photography exhibition.

St Mary the Virgin Church in Sompting
St Mary the Virgin Church in Sompting

Father Felix Smith, incumbent at St Michael and All Angels, said: “We’re reopening the church of St Mary the Virgin, Sompting, for regular services in August, after many years of the church being closed for Sunday services.

“As part of this, we are holding a Celebration Week full of free events for the community.”

St Mary’s Celebration Week will run from August 15 to 22, starting with Evensong. All events are free but people will need to book in advance, telephone 01903 762793, email [email protected] or visit

The church will be open from 10am to 4pm each day, hosting a flower festival and the History at Sompting Church exhibition.

From Monday to Friday, 2pm to 4pm, there will be a scavenger hunt for children and families.

Sunday, August 15: 5pm The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, joins the church for Sung Evensong, with music and choir. This is followed by beer from the Stanley Ale House and entertainment from Sompting Village Morris.

Monday, August 16: 10.30am to 12pm David Bone talk Dicovering the Ancient Stones of Sompting Church; 4pm Aedan Kerney organ recital with a difference. Join Aedan to complete a fun musical crossword (bring a pen).

Tuesday, August 17: 2pm to 4pm Quiz with tea and biscuits provided.

Wednesday, August 18: 9.30am Guided walk from the church up into the Downs with Mike Tristram and on return tea, cakes and tunes from the Strawberry Fair Folk Trio; 6pm All the Birds of the Air, a multimedia show by Vic and Tina Smith about birds in song, tune, verse and folklore.

Thursday, August 19: 4pm Sussex Wind Quartet. Classical music from composers such as Vaughan Williams, Holst, Elgar and Dukas

Friday, August 20: 2.30pm and 3.30pm (two sittings) Nick Munday leads a tour around his micro-vineyard and winery, situated right next to the church, with time for a taste at the end; 7pm Aedan Kerney’s Song of the Seasons, recorded by Worthing Choral Society, with screened archive images.

Saturday, August 21: 10am to 2pm Living Stones, A reflective journey led by the Rev Canon Michael Hart (bring your own lunch).

Sunday, August 22: 6.30pm Binsted Viols and Voices with 16th century songs of love and faith.