St Michael’s, Northchapel

The parish of Northchapel’s landscape reflects many aspects of its development over the centuries. The Saxons exploited this part of the Weald for timber and summer grazing, while later settlers pushed back the margins of the forest to create the pattern of small fields and farms we still see today. The local woodland and natural resources have supported a wide variety of rural trades and woodland industries over the centuries, including Tudor ironworking, forest glass making, quarrying, coppicing and brickmaking.

Early village settlement evolved around the village green and the parish church, and developed in a linear fashion along the road. This main road, the A283, divides the village in a north/south direction. There are many listed buildings in the village centre. Many of these are vernacular timber-framed houses, some clad with the traditional brick and tile familiar to this part of Sussex. Others are Georgian or Victorian, and this gives the village its particular distinctive character. Among the buildings of note is the Toll house, built in the early 1800s.

The parish church of St Michael’s lies tucked behind houses on the east side of the village.

The parish covers approximately 3,500 acres and lies on the clays of the Low Weald. Two miles to the west of Northchapel the distinctive shape of Blackdown frames the horizon, and at 280m it is the highest point in Sussex. The western part of the parish is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, although the gently rolling landscape to the east is equally beautiful, with open fields, hedgerows, and abundant woodland.

St Michael's Church

St Michaels Northchapel ChurchSt Michael’s is a Victorian building, tucked away behind the houses in the centre of the village with views to the south across the Weald. Inside the Church is the St Francis window by Wilhelmina Geddes which, along with the simple decor and peaceful atmosphere makes St Michael’s a very welcoming Parish Church.

We hold two Holy Communion services on the first and third Sunday of each month, starting at 10:30. Families are warmly welcome at these services.

The Church

Northchapel along with Duncton, became a separate parish from Petworth in 1717. A surviving drawing shows the early church as a simple stone building with a Horsham stone roof and wooden bell tower. The present parish church of St. Michael and all Angels was designed by the noted architect Anthony Salvin and built in 1878 retaining the tower of the 1833 church, which replaced the first stone church, probably built in the 14th century. It was funded by subscription and wealthy benefactors and built on land given by Lord Egremont. Later in 1899 an organ was installed and in the early twentieth century the rood screen was added, to be followed in 1938 by construction of the organ loft. A stained glass window (west wall) by Wilhelmina Geddes, a noted artist of the post-Victorian school, was installed in 1930 in memory of Louisa Lee Sargent. It shows St. Francis and illustrations of the natural world. The lead lined font is made of Sussex marble also known as winklestone and dated 1669. It is regularly used for baptisms. The tower contains a peel of six new bells. Five bells were installed for the Millennium with the aid of a grant from the Millennium bells fund. A sixth was added a few years later. The clock mechanism is over 150 years old and until 2000 was situated in the tower. It kept the clock ticking for up to fourteen days on a winding. It is now electrically operated and the mechanism can be seen operating in the church. New glass memorial doors were installed in 2021, and the original oak door moved to the outside of the porch.

The Churchyard

By the south door is the ancient yew tree, considered by experts to be more than 1000 years old, see the certificate signed by Prof David Bellamy! Beyond is a short avenue of pollarded limes. Within the church yard significant graves include that of the First World War cartoonist and originator of the Ole’ Bill cartoons, Capt Bruce Bairnsfather. Somewhere in the graveyard is the grave of one of the original cricketers of Hambledon, Noah Mann, a past licensee of the Half Moon public house. The grave of the playwright Sir Arthur Wing Pinero and his wife is to the left as you enter the churchyard from the car park. Lady Pinero died in 1919 and shortly after her burial, Pinero writes to a fellow playwright’s wife referring to the “pretty churchyard at Northchapel.” Following Pinero’s death in 1934, his ashes were interred in the same grave. The churchyard is lightly managed so as to preserve wildflowers, which include cowslip, primrose and bluebell. Slow worms are sometimes seen and the church is a haven for ladybirds and a bee colony on the west wall!

The Church and Education

Education for the ordinary people began in 1835 with the building of a free Sunday school at the foot of the hill by the junction with the lane to Hillgrove, using government money channelled through the Church of England day school, giving a free basic education in literacy and numeracy and having emphasis on religious indoctrination. By the early 20th century the building was considered inadequate by the County Council and the site unhealthy as they were pumping water from the sewage polluted stream. The clergy were unable to retain control by making the necessary improvements so a new council run school was built by the village green, opening in 1916, and still in use today as the primary school. The church still has a close connection with the school; who use the church several times a year for services such as harvest, Christingle and Easter. Also part of the glebe land is given over to outdoor use by the school for ecological education.

Address: London Road, Northchapel GU28 9HP

Parish Office:

Tel: 01428 707373


Church Wardens:

Judy Burden
Sharon Holden

St Michael’s Church has services on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month at 10.30am Please check our calendar for any time changes and special services.

The Swan Inn, Chiddingfold:

The Mulberry Inn, Chiddingford:

The Angel Inn, Petworth:

Lythe Hill Hotel:

How to support St Michael's: The Churchyard

How to obtain your marriage document

1. Two weeks after the date of your wedding, contact or telephone 01243 642122. We advise applying online.

2. Tell them your name and the date of your wedding

3. Fee: Standard 15 working day service – £11 including postage and packing. You can pay to have an extra copy.

How to Support St Michael's

Help is always required at our church and churchyard working parties to help keep the church and grounds beautiful.

Baptism Application Pack Letter

How to Support St Michael's

Legacy Policy:
Here at St Michael’s, Northchapel, we welcome gifts in wills, however large or small and we promise to use your gift to make a difference to our parish.

Our PCC Legacy Policy is to use gifts to help fund significant development projects, whether buildings, equipment or staff.

Since needs change over the years, we encourage you to leave a gift in your will for the general purpose of the parish rather than for a restricted purpose. We will discuss possible uses of your gift with your Executors when the time comes, bearing in mind your known areas of interest in the Church (e.g music, buildings, children and youth, overseas mission or aid) and the Church’s priorities at the time.

You can be confident that your gift will be used to make a real difference to our future mission and ministry.

We will acknowledge gifts in whatever way the donor and/or his/her Executors feel most appropriate to. Equally, we can make sure that gifts remain anonymous if the donor prefers.

If you would like to talk to someone in confidence about the sorts of purposes your gift might fund, and how/if you would like your gift to be acknowledged, please contact Daphne Trussler on 01428 707462.

If you would like to make a gift to our Church in memory of a loved one, please do come and discuss this with us too.

Parish giving –
Gift Aid –
Electoral Roll – details of electoral roll officer and form

Parish Council –

Northchapel Community Primary School –

Northchapel is a small, rural primary school serving a wide catchment area in an environment of outstanding natural beauty. We have a creative, rich and varied curriculum, a focus on outdoor learning through Forest School, our own high quality swimming pool and a passion for music and singing.

Ms Deborah Coggin – (01428) 707352 or

Northchapel Club – A welcoming and friendly club that is open daily. The club offers ample space, pool tables, a dart board. A large selection of beverages and some snacks. It holds a coffee and cake morning with a book swap on various Saturdays and Sundays of each month where everyone is warmly welcomed together with other events such as bingo, children’s disco and live bands. With outdoor seating overlooking the village green, is a perfect setting. This is a members club but new members are always welcomed and the cost of annual membership is a reasonable £12 and for senior citizens £6

Northchapel Village Hall – link to A fantastic venue available to hire for events. It has a large sized room which is able to seat 100 people, with a catering kitchen which provides everything you need including glass ware, crockery and cutlery. WC facilities and ample onsite parking. It regularly holds village lunches as well as weekly pilates classes and the Youth Club is also based here.

The Half Moon – a traditional 15th century country pub in the heart of the village with a red tractor outside. The Half Moon often has live bands playing and has a lovely beer garden for the summer.

The Village Shop – a friendly and welcoming shop that stocks all your essentials and some speciality items. It also has the benefit of a post office. The staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful and will always try to get in something specific if you require it.

The Youth Club – a wonderful place for young people aged 9-15 to come for some fun, activities and get to meet each other. There is also a tuck shop. The Youth Club meets at the village hall every Tuesday during term time from 7pm to 8.30pm and costs £1 per session.

Northchapel Sports Club has been in operation for many years and is currently home to a football and stoolball team. The sports club are underway with fundraising or a MUGA (multi use games area) to give the sports club an all weather option for training and group activities for both children and adults.

Places to enjoy a drink, meal or even stay
The Stag, Kirdford Road, Balls Cross GU28 9JP Tel: 01403 820241- link to
The Swan Inn, Petworth Road, Chiddingfold GU8 4TY Tel: 01428 68468 – link to
The Mulberry Inn, Petworth Road, Chiddingford GU28 4SS Tel: 01428 644460 link to
The Angel Inn, 1 Angel Street, Petworth GU28 9BG Tel: 01798 344445 – link to
The Noah’s Ark, Lurgashall GU28 9ET Tel: 01428 707346 – link to
Lythe Hill Hotel, Petworth Road, Haslemere GU27 3BQ. Tel: 01428 651251 link to https://

July 2024

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Willie Poste
Bell Ringers
Neil Harding
Church Flower Rota
Virginia Morgan
Community Bus
Stephanie Hipkiss
Parish Council
Sharon Holden
Helen Cruickshank
Deborah Coggins
Vanessa Semmens
Sports Club
John Carter
Laura Green
Jo Harman
Village Hall
Jane Dadswell
Bookings Secretary
Sharon Holden
Village Green
Laura Green
NHS Direct
Chiddingfold Doctors Surgery
Chiddingfold Surgery Lift Operator
Madeline Thomas
Haslemere Health Centre
Petworth Doctors Surgery
Royal Surrey County Hospital
St Richard's Hospital
Age Concern Information
Woodland Veterinary Hospital
Woodland Veterinary Hospital
Chichester District Council
Highways Agency
Dog Warden
Dog Warden
Funeral Directors
W Bryder & Sons
Non Emergency Police

St Michael’s PCC Members
Judy Burdon (Church Warden), Sharon Holden (Church Warden & Secretary), Clifford Bell, Jan Glover, Stephanie Hipkiss, Chloe Holden, Daphne Trussler (Treasurer)

St Michael & All Angels Church Safeguarding Officer is: Mrs Karen Arnold – 01428 708098

St Michael & All Angels Church, Northchapel recognises that in all matters that involve allegations that someone has, or may have caused harm to another person, whether child or adult, the welfare of the alleged victim is paramount and is our primary concern. No other consideration, however legitimate or important, can outweigh this primary responsibility.

St Michael & All Angels Northchapel recognise that all allegations that someone may have harmed a child or adult must be taken seriously. In all but the most exceptional circumstances, this will mean letting a safeguarding specialist know about the allegation.

St Michael & All Angels Northchapel recognise that it is not our responsibility to investigate allegations, nor would it be appropriate for us to do so. Our responsibility is to pass allegations onto the person/people who can respond appropriately.

In the first instance, this will normally involve informing the incumbent and the parish safeguarding officer (unless the allegation is about them).
St Michael & All Angels Northchapel will inform the Diocesan Safeguarding Team upon becoming aware of any allegation that someone in our church community has harmed, or may have harmed, a child or adult (this will normally be done by the incumbent and/or the parish safeguarding officer).

St Michael & All Angels Northchapel recognise that any allegation that a person in a position of responsibility for children (paid or voluntary) has behaved in such a way that indicates they may present a risk to children, will be referred by the Diocesan Safeguarding Team to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). If the alleged behaviour is of a criminal nature, the police will always be involved.

St Michael & All Angels Northchapel recognise that any allegation that a person in a position of responsibility for adults (paid or voluntary) has behaved in such a way that indicates they may present a risk to adults, will be referred by the Diocesan Safeguarding Team with the local Adults Services team manager. If the alleged behaviour is of a criminal nature, the police will always be involved. (The issue of consent are more complex with harm to adults: this will be discussed with the Diocesan Safeguarding Team in individual cases).

St Michael & All Angels Northchapel, recognise that human behaviour is complex and many-layered, and that any individual may have motives or intentions that are not apparent, even to those who believe they know them well. Practically speaking, this means that we will commit to ensuring that any allegation that a person has harmed, or may have harmed, a child or adult will be taken seriously as per the above points, even when that person is a highly respected individual whose integrity appears to be without question.

St Michael & All Angels Northchapel recognises that the best way to identify any false or malicious allegation is to treat all allegations the same. A transparent, fair and accountable process that is consistently applied is best for all involved, including those against whom allegations are made.

St Michael & All Angels Northchapel recognise that all involved in situations where allegations are made require pastoral support. In particular, the person making the allegation and their family, and the person against whom the allegation is made and their family, will require skilled and careful pastoral support. Providing that support may be complex, and we recognise and commit to working with the wider Diocese should this situation arise.

St Michael & All Angels Northchapel recognise and commit to implementing the advice received or any outcome arising from the above process.

If you are a child and you need to talk to someone about things that are happening to you that you don’t like, please go to the Childline website (, or telephone Childline on 0800 1111.

If you are an adult and you need to access support about something that is happening to you, please go to this website to find links to various support organisations for you to contact.

If you need to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team, please go to:

If you need to report a safeguarding concern to the statutory authorities in Sussex, please go to the website below and click on the option on the left that most describes the situation you are concerned about and follow the advice and further links you find there. Please remember to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team as well once you have contacted the statutory authorities.