St Helen's, Hangleton

Photographed in 1992

Photo:Photograph of St Helens, Hangleton, 1992

Photograph of St Helens, Hangleton, 1992

Photo taken by Terry Walls (see 'Some Memories of St Helens Church')

This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
I grew up near St Helen's. We moved from Goldstone Road in Hove to St Helen's Crescent in 1963. This was my church and I served as a kid as a 'server' in what was the old series II communion. I'm not sure whether I was a blessing or a burden to the poor vicar - I dropped the bread, spilt the wine, forgot the place in the order of service! The vicar was Rev Eddie Taylor as I remember, a longsuffering servant and superb vicar. I joined the RAF when I was 19. Thirty years later I am still in the RAF and have served all over the world. I have attended many churches over this period, been central in some of them too, but St Helen's is the place where I began. I write this from the Middle East, but in my mind I am standing in St Helen's now.
By Pete Allan (16/05/2006)

In the 1950's there was still a large pond in front of the church. I remember going up there with other boys from St Nicholas Juniors (Portslade) and wading through it knee-deep (our legs weren't very long then).  My mother remembered a large box tomb in the churchyard which was covered with coloured mosaic, although even then many of the tiles had been pulled off.  It was apparently the grave of one the lawyers who acted for the defendant in the celebrated 'Tichborne Claimant' case.

By David Hitchin (04/10/2006)

I was born in Sherbourne Close in 1957 and moved to Hangleton Way into one of the 'new' houses opposite the barn. As a young lad I would play in the graveyard of the church and play football on the green and climb the tree by the gate to the church, think that it was an elm tree. I remember Fr Taylor well, I think i was one of the banes of his life. we used to play for hours around the church and in the fields beyond,good times i think.

By neil underhill (25/03/2007)

I love this church. Unfortunately my father passed away in July (Ray Pook), my brother, Richard, and I are having his ashes buried there. We both know that this is what he would have wanted.

By Jane Thacker (nee Pook) (17/10/2008)

I know the church well having lived in Hangleton most of my life. I used to be a Sunday school teacher back in the 50s. Both my grandparents are buried there.The dew pond in front of the church used to freeze in the winter, and I remember falling through the ice one Sunday in all my best clothes. There was also a farm behind the church where we used to watch the cows being milked.The path (which is now Hangleton Way) used to house many of our camps that we made in the bushes. We spent many happy hours playing there. Most of the newer part of Hangleton was built after the war.

By judith hollick (16/12/2008)

I have a lot of memories of the church- I was married there to Christine Gurry in 1981- we had both lived in Hangleton Way- me near towns orner and Chris up the top by the shops/Downsman. I also ran the 17th Hove cub pack on a Wednesday night and took the cubs there for church parade once a month. I have great memories of father Tom Inman who is now a canon in Chichester and before him, Ken Holder- (I went out with his daughter Ruth for a while.) I was in many a production in the church hall and I remember the massive tree at the front which sadly had to come down in the Dutch Elm infection time. I have recently been in the church for a funeral of an aunt of Christine's and it brought all those memories back- I live in Ferndown in Dorset now.

By Michael Bridger (18/12/2008)

In 1952 my family moved into a newly built semi at the bottom of the hill on which St Helen's stands. Called Ursa, the house was on land released by the farmer who in those days still farmed there. As a boy, I played in the barns and fields. We worshiped at St Helen's. The vicar was Peter Bide, who lived in Hangleton Road. I was a server and played the harmonium for some services. Bide had read Chemistry at Oxford as a mature student, and had got to know CS Lewis. By the time it came for me to be prepared for confirmation, I had already started reading Christian literature seriously and CS Lewis was my favourite. Unbeknownst to me, Bide was at that very time busy helping Lewis, whose wife was very sick and who wanted to be married. Since the Bishop of Oxford refused to allow it because Joy was a divorced woman, Lewis called on Bide (who was in another diocese) to assist, and they were married at Joy's hospital bedside. The story became famous in the play and film entitled Shaddowlands.
Bide's wife Margaret died of cancer and I remember the service and the wake in the newly built parish hall. He moved on in the late 50s and was replaced by Max Godden, who went on to be the archdeacon at Lewes.
St Helen's was then almost alone on the hilltop. There were a couple of immediate prewar houses to the east, and the farm and manor still active in the valley below. I have no memory about ghosts in the graveyard.

By Dick Kaan (09/01/2009)

I lived with my family in Farmway Close, Hangleton from the early 1950s until late 1960s - I have lived in South Africa and Australia since then. I was amazed one day while visiting my mother a few years ago at her home in Hangleton to find the mosaic-covered tomb of Edward Vaughan Kenealy and his wife Elizabeth in St Helens churchyard (he defended the accused in the Tichborne Trial in London). I later asked my daughter-in-law in Johannesburg about the name as she was also a Vaughan Kenealy - and found out that he was her great great grandfather. She and her family have never seen the unusual tomb but I took lots of photos of it and other related graves around it for their records. My mother's ashes are also now buried there in St Helens churchyard so my South African grandchildren have ancestors on both sides of their family remembered there.

By Muriel Jayne (02/03/2012)

So many local people have important memories from this church. Sadly, it has been threatened with closure by the Church of England. Not many of the local community are aware of this. A website has been created to raise awareness http://www.hangletonparish.com

By Rob Johnston (07/04/2012)

Adding to my previous post of 2.3.12, I also lived with my family at 5 Spencer Avenue from around 1947 to 1950.  We had a field in front of the bungalow which was covered in wild flowers in summer - wild flowers and butterflies around the abandoned railway track at the back. St Helens church was down the road and a farm with a bull in a cage.  We knew the Walls family of three boys, Terry, Robert, can't remember the other name.  Miss Patmore lived next door and the builder of the bungalows, Mr Fry and his wife lived next to her.  Jennifer and Trevor Mee were down the road with the McQueen family on the other side of us.  I still have photos from those days.  We moved to London for five years after this.

By Muriel Jayne (12/03/2017)

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