Church Norton, St Wilfrid's Church
Church Norton, St Wilfrid's Church
St Wilfrids is all that remains of a large Norman church on a site beside Pagham Harbour. The current church is actually the 13th-century chancel of the Norman building.

In 1864 remainder of the Norman church was disassembled and relocated to its current location in the centre of Selsey. The chancel of the old church was left in this relatively quiet spot.

The interior is a fascinating mix of old and new. The 'old' is provided by a stunning Tudor memorial to John and Agnes Lewis. The Lewis memorial dates to 1537, and is based around two carvings; one depicting the martyrdom of St Agatha, the other showing St George killing a dragon.

The 'new' is provided by very colourful stained glass by local artists, showing scenes around Selsey and beyond. One window shows animals in their habitat at a nearby nature reserve. Another is created around the theme of the role of women in relieving suffering around the world.

The dedication of the church to St Wilfrid is worth noting. Wilfrid was a 7th-century missionary who founded a monastery on royal land at Selsey. From the 8th century until 1075 Wilfrid's monastery served as the bishop's seat. In 1075 the cathedral was moved to Chichester. It is possible that the current church stands on the site of Wilfrid's monastic church, but this is not certain.

The chancel arch is 12th century, while several of the windows appear to be 17th-century work. There are a 13th-century aumbry and a piscina of similar age. The font is Victorian and is thought to have been come from the demolished church of St Martin at Chichester. Outside the church are earthworks thought to be all that remains of an 11th-century castle.

St Wilfrids is a very popular stopover by walkers enjoying the wealth of nature trails around Selsey. The church is no longer used for regular worship and is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.