This tiny working church is reported to be one of the smallest in England measuring 25m2 with seating for only fourteen. It stands on a hill overlooking the Cuckmere Valley with magnificent views of the Downs. Previously surrounded by trees, the elms have recently been ravaged by Dutch elm disease and removed, so a tree-planting scheme in the churchyard is now in progress.
The church was again made suitable for services in 1806 when a single bell (made by J. Warner & Son Ltd. in London) was installed. A larger restoration took place in 1893 and the bell was recast in 1904. A black and white photograph, that now hangs on the south wall, commemorates the restoration showing eighteen people, including the then vicar of Westdean, Reverend Lawrence.
In the 1990s there were concerns in the community for the Church’s future. Some Lullington residents, finding that no previous dedication had been made, put in a request. Supported by Alfriston Church Council, the Bishop of Chichester and the Lord Chancellor`s Office, Lullington Church was dedicated as ‘The Church of the Good Shepherd’ by the Bishop of Lewes in September 2000.
Notable features of the church include: the bowl of the font which is made of twelfth century Sussex marble or Eastbourne stone; an unusual, hand-painted reredos (ornamental screen) believed to date from the 1930s; a benchmark on the south exterior wall indicating the height above sea level. The only memorial tablet is situated on the exterior west wall and is dedicated to Thomas Browne, a rector of Lullington who died in 1786. There are no stained-glass windows in the church. Lullington Church was united with St. Andrew’s Church in Alfriston in 1927. The list of vicars (from Alciston, Lullington and Litlington) extends from 1356 to 1927 and parish registers date from 1721. There is no electricity supply to the church so early morning and evening services are by candlelight.
It is a true haven of peace.
The church has been Recorded by members of the Fine Art Society, Eastbourne. An illustrated book recording the contents and history of the church was presented to the Rev. Daniel Merceron in 2018. Church Recording promotes recognition and preservation of the rich artistic heritage of places of worship of all denominations.
For information on church services please visit cuckmerechurches.org.uk