A gem in a little church

Rouser 2012
Rouser 2012

BROUSING around Southease Church is a fulfilling experience. But the church has one secret that is not generally known.

As the Rev A. A. Evans put it in his On Foot in Sussex: ‘Southease Church possesses, though hidden from common sight, one of the very few chalices in Sussex which survived the wreck and spoilation of the religious changes of the sixteenth century.

‘It appears at first to the eye as only an example, though a beautiful example, of Elizabethan silverwork. The cup is well made and graceful in its lines and running around it are two bands of arabesque work, features largely peculiar to the middle and latter part of the sixteenth century.

‘But on examining it closely signs can be seen that it is a chalice of much earlier days, hammered out and beaten with the addition of more silver to form a cup ....

‘One wonders why, when the great sweeping of old chalices was made by the Royal Commissioners in 1552 and sent to the melting pot, this little church managed to preserve, though in altered form, its altar vessels.’.

Strange indeed!

Pictured is an early photograph of Southease Church.