Thursday, 10 July 2014

Joining the Bats in St Peter's church. Mundham

It was by sheer chance that I happened to be driving past this church on one of the very few times it is open..The churchwarden was in the churchyard awaiting a visit from the *bat person* for advice on how to protect the church interior from bat urine.
….The church is usually kept locked on account of the numerous thefts from the church.
The church warden saw my interest and kindly allowed me to explore the interior of the church, telling me to take my time writing notes and taking photographs.

The church stands atop of a mound with it’s graveyard sloping down toward the road, and is constructed of flint and rubble, as are so many other churches of this type. The perpendicular tower topped with flushwork battlements appears to be C15 and ‘grew’ to it’s full height through various stages.

My joy at seeing the splendid South Norman doorway became a little muted when I saw the church porch, it was built at a later date and too narrow to have been abutted to the archway correctly.

You can see in picture how the sides of the Norman archway have been lost

After entering the church, to the West at the base of the tower is a relatively modern font which is very plain. In the corner behind is the remains of a square Norman font, and a long niche carved into the North side of the tower wall, is where all church banners were stored. On the opposite tower wall there’s a Tudor brick faced oven which was not discovered until 1931

Modern font

           Norman font

....Opposite the south door the church has a medieval wall painting (possibly of St Christopher) which is unfortunately partially covered by a C19 memorial plaque
The poppyhead carvings on the end of the pews are C15, but I was unable to tell if the pews themselves were from that date also.
The C15 rood screen would no doubt originally looked quite splendid, but sadly it's painted dado panels are now in a distressed state and have lost almost all of their hourglass stand is attached to the south side of the screen, this was used to time the length of the preacher's sermons.

In  the chancel's south wall remain a C15 piscina for washing the chalice and the sedilla, where the clergy sat

The beautifully carved reredos  is the work of Mrs Hicks who was a rector’s wife in 1908

 This church has a narrow interior without a chancel arch, which makes it look larger inside than it really is.

 It's a really delightful place to worship. I wished I could have spent longer, but I didn’t want to disturb the *bat person* any longer J

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