Who Are We?
We are an Anglican Church which believes in the Trinity and the over-arching love of God. We uphold the Bible as sacred Scripture, inspired by the Holy Spirit and interpreted by the Church. We affirm the Creeds and the Apostolic succession.We are a sacramental church. That means that we practise baptism and celebrate the Eucharist (Communion/Lord’s Supper). We worship God with prayers of thanksgiving, songs of praise and words of affirmation.
What We Believe
We believe that everyone was made in the image of God and that all are equal. The church is the Body of Christ and all the baptised have an important part to play in God’s kingdom. Each of us has different gifts and so are called to different areas. It is our intention to discern these gifts and provide opportunities to share them with others. We acknowledge our need for forgiveness as well as our need to reconcile and forgive others. We give thanks for God’s awe-inspiring love and mercy, and we seek to share that with others.
Fittleworth parish church is situated at the northern end of the village, with Hesworth Common to the west and Fittleworth Common to the east. The building dates back to at least 1200 and is Grade 1 listed. The church is in excellent repair and is well cared for.
The tower is the oldest part. Above the vestry window there is a very early ‘consecration cross’, a relic from a much earlier church. The nave was rebuilt in 1871, changing the appearance of the church considerably – away went the galleries, old box pews and an old barrel organ. We have before and after watercolour paintings which document these changes.
The nave and side aisles can seat about 170 in pine pews. At the west end several pews have been removed to create an area for welcoming and coffee. The Chancel has choir stalls on each side with the organ situated on the right. The Sanctuary has an Aumbry with a Tabernacle fitted inside and a Piscina. The Alter is of Sussex marble and stone. The vestry has a newly fitted kitchen area, and a brick built pier housing cupboards and a safe. The Vestry and Chancel are alarmed. Three of the stained glass windows are the work of C.E. Kempe, showing the distinctive wheat-sheaf mark. Many of the windows are clear which makes the church light. The font dates from 15th century and stands in front of the ringing room at the base of the bell tower. The tower houses a peal of 6 bells which are well used by our team of ringers. Over the years extensive work has been done to bells, frame, and ropes to ensure good working order.
Around 20 years ago the church was completely re-roofed , the ceiling renovated and renewed where necessary, completely re-wired. Much of the floor has been renewed in wood.
The churchyard is of considerable size and is maintained by a small group of willing helpers and some contractual work. There is also a small adjoining field which is used for the summer fete and other activities, but which may eventually be used as a burial ground.
We spent a long time discussing the ‘mission’ statement of our church to help us come together and build a logo that represented who we are. Even though at times this journey was tough and seemingly endless we found it became quite a spiritual one; delving into our own thoughts of what ‘The Church’ meant to us and how we wanted our church to be viewed by others. We soon came to the realisation that church is a very personal thing where each person gains somethings different when they ‘attend’ church. It came clear to us that we wanted our church of Fittleworth to be a place of peace and acceptance; a place that was accessible to all whether we had attended church all our lives or whether it was something new and uncertain. We also wanted our church to be about our community; we want to ensure that we do not build a ‘them and us’ culture within our walls but instead have open doors for all those in the community of Fittleworth and beyond – this concept is captured in the bottom of the logo where ‘Fittleworth’ is located in the opening between the church walls instead of our doorway. We also wanted to communicate awareness that as a church and Christians we can be compared to an unfinished masterpiece; we are by no means perfect and ready for display but we believe our creator God is still working on us perfecting our brushstrokes and erasing our mistakes; this is why the church building in our logo has a clear ‘brush stroke’ texture demonstrating this concept of unfinished artwork.