St Andrew Didling - The Shepherds' Church

On the road out of Elsted, travelling to our next destination we happened upon an old wooden sign pointing us to this church. The leaflet available in this tiny place of worship tells us,

"Welcome to St Andrew's Church which has been known for years as 'The Shepherds' Church', undoubtably because the shepherds hwo tended their famous sheep on the South Downs used it as a place of worship. People have probably worshipped on this spot for the best part of 1000 years. The Saxons built several churches in this area and although St Andrew's was rebuilt in the 13h century, its Saxon font remains, made of stone from the lost Bracklesham beds.

When the Domesday survey was made in 1086, Didling (the home of Dyddle's people) came under the manor of Trotton. The church was rebuilt about 1220 ... In 1579 St Andrew's was described as 'being in ruin and decaie". There was another period of neglect during the 19th century until the Revd. F A Vincent restored and reopened it for worship on 31 March 1872. Today however, this little shrine is cherished and lovingly cared for and it stands as a fine example of how much our tiny churches in small communities are still very much prized, used and wanted."

St Andrew's has no electricity supply and is still lit by candles for services. It has a set of medieval benches for its pews and many features dating from throughout its long history.

St Andrew, Didling

St Andrew, Didling


Local Histories