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1855: Church alterations critically assessed

Brighton Gazette - Thursday 30 August 1855

CUCKFIELD. The Church. —The alterations in the church are proceeding, under the superintendence of the Vicar, who is his own architect, assisted by his friend, Holloway, and promise to effect great change in the appearance of that venerable building.

We are to have most uncomfortable open benches instead of our comfortable family pews. The organ, presented to the parish a few years since and erected in the gallery at the west end, has been taken down, and is to be placed on the floor at the south east corner; and a portion of the choir will be doubtless stationed on either side of the middle aisle, so as to give full effect to their soul-inspiriting strains.

Cuckfield Church c1890

The organ gallery, which appears from inscription on one of the beams to have been erected in 1608, (about the time galleries were first used in this country) has been taken down as well the faculty gallery of Lord Abergavenny. There is, however, one small faculty gallery that still withstands the storm of reformation, the owner refusing to sanction its removal; but the time of its demolition is doubtless not far distant, as it at present very much resembles a bird cage through a microscope.

The Sergison escutcheons which hung over the family pew have been removed from the church. The good old pulpit, from which our fathers were accustomed to receive their Sunday admonitions in terms of charity and love, by the good old patriarchs of that day, has been advertised for sale; and now lies in the old church yard over the graves of those who once worshipped around it; and the sermon is now preached from the reading desk, in the surplice. There will but one entrance into the church for the people, on the north side, the porch the south east corner, commonly called the chancel, is to be converted into a vestry, and the entrance there will be only made use of by the Vicar and other persons ecclesiastical.

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