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12 January 2016

All Saints Church, Hove

Judy Middleton 2001 (revised 2016)
copyright © J.Middleton
The best view of the exterior of All Saints is from the east in wintertime when the trees have shed their leaves. This photograph was taken on 20 March 2009.
Revd Thomas Peacey

He was vicar of Hove for almost 30 years. He became aware of the need for a new church in the late 1870s but there were other matters to be attended to first such as the restoration of St Andrew’s Old Church, the re-building of the George Street Schools, the building of the Parochial Institute plus the erection of St Barnabas’s Church and the new Hove Vicarage. Indeed, sometimes he despaired of his pet project because he stated ‘Whether I shall see the Church built, for which I have longed and worked and prayed, God only knows.’

Peacey took his duties seriously and what he saw was a town expanding rapidly year by year, which suffered from under-provision in the matter of church capacity. By 1888 from a population total of 27,250, less than 8,250 were included in the new parishes of St Barnabas and St Patrick; this left 19,000 souls dependent on the ancient mother church of Hove at St Andrew’s. The latter, together with Holy Trinity and St John’s, could hold less than 3,000 people.

Although Peacey thought a magnificent new Parish Church befitted Hove’s increasing status, he was adamant that it was not to be exclusively for wealthy people. He made this clear in his Easter letter of 1887.

“It is not only for the rich and well-to-do that the Church is needed, there are the ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’ of whom the Bishop reminded us, the men-servants and maid-servants, the coachmen and the grooms, the tradesmen and their assistants and all the folk who minister to the necessities and luxuries of a fashionable neighbourhood. And there are those who come to reside among us for a time only, for health or in sorrow or by reason of other causes, which may make them serious about their souls and among whom I am persuaded that there is a great work for God to be done, for many strange and sad histories have come to my knowledge.’

Although Peacey’s dream was realised eventually, it caused him considerable stress and resultant ill health. By 1892 the strain began to show and the parish had a whip-round to raise enough money for the Peaceys to go abroad for a holiday. On their return, Peacey’s health was not sufficiently re-established to take up his duties and his doctor prevailed upon him to take things easy for a further eight weeks.


In 1886 Viscount Hampden, Lord Lieutenant of Sussex, presided over the first meeting to be held concerning the building of All Saints. It was formally agreed that the new Parish Church should be built in a central location. However, the site that All Saints later occupied had already been leased to William Willett, the noted house builder, on 30 April 1879 by Ellen Benett-Stanford. She specified that this land was only to be used as an ornamental pleasure ground and she retained the power to resume possession of it within three years should it be required for church building purposes. If the land was not thus utilised, Mr Willett would have the option of purchasing it for £2,625 but it would have to remain as a pleasure ground.

There must have been a change of heart because the Stanford Estate donated the site to the church – a gift said to be worth some £3,000. The Bishop of Chichester was keen on the project and made the first donation to the building fund of £100; he later added two more donations.

John Loughborough Pearson (1817-1897)

Several architects submitted their drawings to be scrutinised by the Building Committee and it is a fact not generally known that they did not like J.L. Pearson’s first design. They considered it too elaborate and costly and asked him to go away and prepare new plans. This he did and in November 1887 Pearson’s new plans – still only in pencil – were approved.

It was a bit of a cheek for the Building Committee to treat Pearson in such a manner because he was a very eminent architect at the peak of his profession and with vast experience in the design of churches. It was not that he was an unknown quantity either because he also designed St Barnabas’s Church, Hove. But Hove liked to punch above its weight and there is a parallel in that the architect chosen for Hove Town Hall was the renowned Alfred Waterhouse.


It was obvious from the outset that the building of All Saints would have to be done in stages, being dependent on continuous fund-raising. Naturally, this aspect was a recurring headache for Peacey.

Hove was a relatively wealthy place. In 1891 it was stated that the population had raised £35,000 over the previous twelve years to build new churches. But still Peacey had to make appeal after appeal. The money trickled in from the widow’s mite, as it were, to the grand donations of £100 a time from the likes of Alderman Howlett and Sir Julian Goldsmid, who as a Jew, was unlikely to ever set foot in the place. Residents and local businessmen such as Mr H. Welsford Smithers of the brewing family made their donations and Smithers also provided the choir with stoutly bound hymn books Ancient and Modern.

Ladies were heavily represented in the list of donors as well as being responsible for the beautiful needlework on the altar frontals. (It is interesting to note that an altar frontal has recently been restored to its former glory with the assistance of the Friends of All Saints). Ladies also gave the first two stained-glass windows and the brass eagle lectern.

John Shillitoe & Son

Local firms of builders were invited to tender for the privilege of erecting All Saints. The Building Committee would have liked to employ J.T. Chappell, a name well known at Hove where he was responsible for the building of some fine edifices. Unfortunately, Chappell’s tender turned out to be £3,000 more than the tender finally chosen.

Shillitoe & Son secured the contract. It was a happy choice for J.L Pearson because they had already worked for him on the construction of Truro Cathedral as well as St Barnabas’s Church, Hove, and Hove Vicarage. Mr S. Chivers was appointed Clerk of the Works and he had also worked with Pearson on his grand church of St Michael, West Croydon.

Building Work

The foundation work took longer than expected because it was discovered that the chalk extended from twelve to sixteen feet below the surface, whereas next door at Hove Vicarage the depth of chalk had only been some four or five feet.

Seventy-five men were employed on the site of whom 43 were masons; a large proportion of them were from the neighbourhood or at least from Sussex and thus understood the working of Sussex sandstone, which came from Paddockhurst, between Worth and Barcombe. Mr Whitehead ‘of torpedo fame’ owned the quarries; presumably this was Robert Whitehead (1823-1905) who invented the first self-propelling torpedo in 1866. The sandstone was similar to that used at Lancing College Chapel, which came from Scaynes Hill.

However, the sandstone of both buildings has not weathered well because of their location near the sea. Sussex sandstone has the capacity to absorb salt from sea air, which then corrodes the stone. In fact by 2001 at Lancing College Chapel badly worn sandstone at the south-east corner was being replaced by more durable York sandstone.

As for our magnificent All Saints, the erosion of sandstone is a major headache, which together with the height of the building and prospective scaffolding costs adds up to a formidable sum of money. In these austere times, help is unlikely to come from the government, the council or the Diocese of Chichester and so its future cannot be said to be secure.

Cost was also a consideration at the building stage. Some timid souls wanted to save £800 by ordering pitch pine for the roof from Norway. But Pearson strongly advised the use of English oak. The Sussex oak came from the neighbourhood of Horsham and the 32-foot rafters were cut out of solid wood; the roof trusses weighing three tons each.

Some idea of the working site can be gained from this contemporary account. ‘ A double saw, which does the work of ten sawyers, a rubbing table at which three men do as much as ten masons could in preparing square stones for the ashlars of the outer and inner walls and a mortar mill are all worked by one steam engine, which also at times drives a circular saw for cutting wood. There is a blacksmith’s forge upon the ground to sharpen the masons’ tools and the whole busy scene is dominated by a large crane, which was six years at Truro Cathedral and for the last two years at Westminster Hall.’ 

By September 1889 the archway of the south porch was complete but it was to take nine long years before the chancel was finished. The chancel is 23 feet long and it narrows to a width of 27 feet; the chancel is entered under a 58-foot high arch. The walls of the nave rise to a height of nearly 50 feet and the height of the roof is a startling 74 feet above the floor.

copyright © J.Middleton
    This evocative view of All Saints was posted in 1905.

Breakdown of Costs

Nave and aisles        £19,219
Builder’s contract for east part      £19, 683
Architect’s fee   £800
Electric lighting   £300
Heating   £300
Furniture   £300
Clerk of the Works   £600
Completion of organ   £875

There were a few other items too but the total cost came to just over £42,000. But the building costs were not the end of it because later on came the beautiful reredos, bishop’s throne and sedilia, which cost £3,300. In 1924 the narthex and tower base were completed from G.B. Woodruff’s donation.

It is impossible to ascertain the overall cost because various patrons provided the wealth of stained glass as well as other items.

Completion Dates

1889 – 25 March, laying of the foundation stone
1891 – 1 May, nave and aisles consecrated
1901 – 1 November, choir and sanctuary consecrated
1905 – Organ completed
1908 – 1 November, reredos, bishop’s throne and sedilia dedicated
1915 – 4 June, organ case and choir stalls dedicated
1924 – Narthex and base of tower completed

 copyright © J.Middleton
The church looks somewhat raw in this photograph dating from 1906 due to the unfinished work on the south west corner. The base of the tower was not completed until 1924.


It is interesting to note the opinions of different experts on the subject of All Saints. For example, the austere Nikolaus Pevsner was moved to describe the church as superb and also cathedral-like. The latter is an interesting remark because in the 1920s there was talk of dividing the Diocese of Chichester into two bishoprics and ‘All Saints would have made a sufficiently stately Cathedral for the See of Lewes’.

 copyright © J.Middleton
This view of All Saints does indeed make it look cathedral-like.

Dr Cranage, one time Dean of Norwich, and an authority on church architecture had this to say. ‘We should be grateful that Canon Peacey had the vision that enabled him and his great architect to realise such a beautiful church. It marks a period but it marks that period at its best. However long it remains and whatever changes of fashion supervene, people of Hove, it is to be hoped, will always realise that they have something great and noble in their midst.’

The architect H.S. Goohart-Rendel wrote words to the effect that the chancel was as near perfect as it could be. But his enthusiasm was tempered by his horror at there being no vault over the main body of the church. He thought the omission incomprehensible, particularly for a man of Pearson’s stature.

These admiring comments must be tempered by the opinion of some clergymen who have regarded All Saints not so much as a source of inspiration but rather as a millstone around their necks. This is because of the nightmare caused by the extraordinary sums of money necessary to keep it in a good state of repair.


The hope that a spire would eventually crown the tower lingered on until the 1930s; then it was finally abandoned. Perhaps it was just as well because keeping the rest of the church building in a sound condition was quite enough to worry about.

The expenditure on restoring stonework and woodwork from 1951 to 1953 came to £4,551. This was not enough and at the end of 1953 the vicar and churchwardens had to cash in all their securities as well as having to borrow an extra £1,000. This last resort followed on a grave report submitted by the cathedral architect. He wrote concerning ‘the fractures of the masonry in the arches of the nave and aisles … the result of the main walls being forced out of the perpendicular, due to the thrusts of the timber roof. The spread of the timber roof of the nave is aggravated by the many iron bolts used in the construction becoming loose as the result of timber shrinkage … the crack in the second arch from the west over the nave has apparently increased.’ The estimated cost of securing the massive arches was £5,000.

In 1984 All Saints launched a Centenary Appeal in an effort to raise £150,000. John Burn-Hill did his bit for the effort by running a book-stall outside the church and it is estimated that in over four years he raised around £15,000; the last book sale was held in the church hall on 3 December 1988.

In 1986 American Express donated £5,000 towards the restoration of the crumbling stonework around the west window.

In April 1996 a new appeal was launched with the target being £1.5 million.

Royal Associations

On 1 March 1896 the Prince of Wales attended morning service at All Saints while on one of his sojourns at Hove with the Sassoon family. On 13 February 1910 he attended All Saints again and by then of course he was King Edward VII. When he died suddenly on 6 May 1910 it came as a great shock to the country at large and to the people of Hove who had seen him so recently in apparent good health. A special service in his memory was held at All Saints on 20 May 1910. Hundreds of people turned up and as they could not all squeeze inside the church, the vicar was obliged to conduct a second service in the open air outside.

 copyright © J.Middleton
A crowd of people and a host of flag-waving children celebrate the coronation on 11 June 1911.

When George V and Queen Mary were crowned on 25 June 1911 there was a massed assembly outside All Saints overseen by the Bishop of Lewes with a special coronation flag service for the children of Hove.

There might be another royal connection too. On 21 June 1897 there was a special service held at All Saints to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Revd Peacey said on this occasion that the Duke of Connaught had promised he would endeavour to lay the corner stone of the chancel in November 1897. The only hindrance to the plan was the fact that with only four months to go some £2,600 was still needed.

Memorable Occasions

On 9 October 1897 Vaughan Williams married Adeline Fisher at All Saints. Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was a celebrated English musician who was fortunate to have outstanding teachers in the shape of Charles Stanford at the Royal College of Music, Max Bruch in Berlin and Maurice Ravel in Paris. But he was also firmly in touch with the tradition of English choral music with particular reference to Tudor church music. He was involved in the English folk-song movement too. Amongst his outstanding works were Sea Symphony, London Symphony and Choral Symphony and there was an opera Hugh the Drover and a ballet Job. He did not scorn modern media and provided the music for the film Scott of the Antarctic. His lyrical piece Lark Ascending is regularly voted as one of the nation’s favourite compositions.

On 11 November 1918 the Great War ended with the Armistice being announced. At Hove the Town Hall rang out a joyous peal of bells but the celebration was tempered with the sober realisation of the dreadful cost in human lives. There was no dancing in the streets or rowdiness in front of public houses. Instead, every church flung wide its doors and people poured in. At All Saints every seat was filled and there were people packed into the Lady Chapel and even the organ chamber.

An unusual event was held in March 1982 when the former Prime Minister Edward Heath addressed around 1,000 clergy and laity on the subject of the Brandt Report, which dealt with Third World poverty and Western aid.

On 14 May 1987 the Bishop of Chichester. Dr Eric Kemp, ordained six women deacons. They were part of the sixteen women ordained that same day in the Diocese of Chichester. The other services were held at Durrington with the Bishop of Horsham and at Seaford with the Bishop of Lewes.

On 24 February 1992 the head of the Coptic Church, Pope Shinodah III, in the company of seven of his bishops, conducted a three-hour service for 700 Sudanese Coptic Christian refugees.

Recent History

On 5 December 2003 the Argus carried a story emanating from a review by the Church of England about the current state and affordability of their churches. It transpired that All Saints was one of thirteen churches earmarked for closure. The proposal was due to All Saints having a deficit in 2003 of some £32,740, which compared very unfavourably with the surplus of £2,250 recorded in 2000. The news horrified both parishioners and ordinary people at Hove. The official response was that better and wider use must be made of the resources they had. It also meant that All Saints had to dispense with the services of their curate Revd John Phillips, which meant more work for the vicar Revd David Wostenholm.

The criticism was little unfair because the wider community already use All Saints for various cultural and festive events. For example, there is the well-attended City Charity Carol Concert that takes place in early December every year. It started in 2002 and was the idea of Derek Hunisett. The proceeds are split between the Martlets Hospice and the Argus Christmas Appeal. In 2004 more than £12,000 was raised for charity and the retiring collection alone usually nets over £1,000.

Then there are the popular lunchtime concerts that take place every Thursday from May to September; their 21st anniversary being in 2011. There is music to suit all tastes from organ recitals to jazz trios and singers; individual instrumentalists can be heard playing guitar, violin or tenor saxophone. The acoustics are particularly kind to chamber music ensembles. On 4 May 2015 the celebrated violinist Isabelle Faust performed Bach’s complete sonatas and partitas that took over 2 ½ hours to play, the performance of which was divided into two parts.

Then there are special occasions; in February 2012 composer and conductor John Rutter introduced a selection of secular and sacred songs. A highlight of the event was the singing of This is the Day commissioned especially for the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011 and the first public performance.  

A Sad Christmas

After the popular Christmas Mass that started late on Christmas Eve 2013, the church was empty and locked up by 1 a.m. Sometime later thieves managed to get into All Saints, breaking open the charity box and stealing the contents. When the vicar Revd Phil Ritchie arrived at 8 a.m. on Christmas Day he found a massive pile of glass on the floor – the smashed remains of the newly installed glass doors. He stepped over the glass and then realised the thieves had also ripped out some beautiful stained glass windows and thrown them to the floor. Father Ritchie said ‘It was the saddest thing.’ An appeal to raise some £45,000 to repair stone mullions around Victorian stained glass was already in the pipeline. Now there would be an additional bill that could top £10,000 for the damage sustained on Christmas Day in order to steal a relatively paltry sum.


copyright © J.Middleton
 We are so used to seeing the beautiful stone reredos that this 
photograph of how the chancel looked in 1906 comes as a shock.
The beautiful reredos is the chief glory of the chancel. It provides a striking focal point down the whole length of the nave and indeed as soon as you step inside the door. It must have been a source of consolation for Peacey to see it completed in all its splendour in the year before he died.

J.L. Pearson designed the reredos and Nathaniel Hitch sculpted it in Chilmark stone. It does have echoes of the reredos in Truro Cathedral but the Hove one has a more delicate and integrated scheme.

The central panel depicts the crucifixion and standing at the foot of the cross are the figures of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the two other Marys and St John, the beloved disciple; a centurion, a soldier carrying a spear and a Pharisee, possibly Nicodemus, complete the group. Two angels hover above the head of Jesus holding a crown.

Below the central panel are seven shields bearing the emblems of the Passion, dice and box; scourge and post; hammer and pincers; crown of thorns and nails; ladder, spear and sponge; the five wounds; and the seamless robe.

On either side of the central panel, figures from the Old Testament are represented. On the north side stands Isaac with the wood ready for a burnt offering; Moses with the bronze serpent; and David with his harp. These figures are seen as pre-figuring the Messiah.

On the south side stand the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel who all foretold the coming of the Messiah.

On either side of the Old Testament subjects, there are six niches containing the figures of six saints. On the north side St Stephen, the first Christian martyr, is the central one and on the south side in the corresponding niche is St Alban, proto-martyr of Britain. Then there are the patron saints of the United Kingdom, from north to south St George, St Andrew, St Patrick and St David.

The reredos is completed by a number of angels; some hold a shield bearing the sacred monogram HIS; others hold shields with ‘A’ and ‘O’ representing the Greek letters for Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. Higher up under canopies four angels hold other symbols, a censor (blessing) a crown (honour) an orb (glory) and a sword (power).

The height of the reredos is 26 feet from the chancel floor but the total height to the top of the canopies is 37 feet.

It is amusing to note that the architect H.S. Goodhart-Rendel did not admire the pale stone of the reredos, which he thought ‘clamours for colour’. This sentiment would probably not be endorsed today.

 copyright © J.Middleton
This wonderfully clear photograph reveals the full majesty of the reredos, bishop’s throne and sedilia. 

Bishop’s Throne and Sedilia

The carved figures have local or national resonance and again the inspiration came from J.L. Pearson, although his son, F.L. Pearson, worked out the fine details and Nathaniel Hitch sculpted the figures. The fact that the same artists were involved in all the stone figures in the chancel lead to a unity of design.

On the north side there is the figure of St Claudia who the historian Tacitus believed to be British and whom local legend connects with Chichester. She is mentioned in St Paul’s 2nd Epistle to Timothy.

The next figure is St Ethelwalch, first King of the South Saxons, who was baptised in around A.D. 661.

Then comes St Cuthman, famously associated with Steyning, Another figure connected with Sussex is Gundrada, wife of William de Warenne, and supposed daughter or step-daughter of William the Conqueror. Her ornate and intricate tombstone is still to be seen at Lewes.

Then there is Richard Poore, Bishop of Chichester (1214-1217) the supposed founder of St Andrew’s Old Church, Hove, and the creator of the Prebends of Hova Villa and Hova Ecclesia.

The central figure depicts a more famous ‘Richard’; that is, St Richard of Chichester whose well-known prayer is still a favourite in the diocese.

The first figure on the south side is Bishop Lancelot Andrews who helped to formulate the Authorized Version of the Bible. Chichester-born William Juxon, Archbishop of Canterbury, who crowned King Charles II is the next figure. Juxon also had the sad duty of accompanying Charles I to the scaffold and as the King laid his head on the block he said to Juxon ‘Remember’.

Then there is Walter Farquhar Hook who became Dean of Chichester in 1859 and was a noted church historian. Not surprisingly, Bishop Durnford of Chichester is represented because it was he who laid the foundation stone of All Saints in 1889 and consecrated the nave and aisles in 1891.

Lastly, there is the surprising inclusion of Queen Victoria, most probably due to her role as head of the Church of England when All Saints was built.

Choir Stalls

Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Ashley and his wife Mary donated the beautifully carved choir stalls in memory of Revd Peacey; they were dedicated in 1915.

Following the example of the stone figures, the carvings on the screens above the choir stalls also have a tale to tell. The theme is music and poetry with six Biblical poets on the north, and six composers of hymns on the south.

Thus you will find the figures of Deborah, David, Solomon, Zechariah, the Blessed Virgin Mary and Simeon on the north.

On the south side there are the figures of St Ambrose, St Gregory, St Bernard, George Herbert (1593-1633) poet and clergyman; Bishop Ken (1637-1711) whose two most popular hymns are Awake my Soul and Glory to Thee, my God, this night; and John Keble (1792-1866) a famous churchman and one of the originators of the Oxford Movement.

It is an ironic touch but despite the presence of John Keble, All Saints did not have a high Anglican tradition, the bells and smells of popular parlance.  

Chapel of the Holy Spirit

The chapel is situated south of the chancel and is 46 feet in length and 21 feet wide. It is vaulted throughout and terminates at the east end in a polygonal apse.

Major General William Marsland donated the carved oak screen in memory of those who died in the Great War.

Alderman Jeremiah Colman donated the carved and painted oak reredos in memory of his wife; it was dedicated on All Saints Day 1935. The theme is the Holy Spirit in action and there are five figures in the five niches. The Blessed Virgin Mary occupies the central space.

William Byrd (1543-1623) English composer, represents music; Dante stands for poetry, Fra Angelico represents painting and Roger Bacon (c1214-1292) known as the doctor mirabilis stands for science.

The Jesus Chapel

The chapel is on the north side of the chancel. The wrought-iron screen is a memorial to Canon P.J. Meybrick, vicar of Hove 1929-1943.

The Font

J.L. Pearson designed the font. It is made of deep red African marble called Breche sanguine with shafts of green marble called vert des Alpes, which comes from the neighbourhood of Genoa.

The font stands upon three graduated marble steps made of different colours to represents stages of life. The lowest step is black stone mixed with fossils from Frosterley, near Durham, and represents sin; the second step is of red marble called ruge griotte, from Belgium, and signifies redemption; the top step is of white Italian marble called pavonazza and represents purity. The font cost £220 and was the gift of the children of the parish.

Eveline Ormerod was responsible for the carving of the magnificent wooden font cover rising like a Gothic spire complete with crockets; it was a later addition to the font. The cover has seven sides and at the base of each are words defining various attributes of the Holy Spirit; Spirit of Knowledge; Spirit of True Godliness; Spirit of Holy Fear; Spirit of Wisdom; Spirit of Understanding; Spirit of Counsel; and Spirit of Ghostly Strength.

copyright © J.Middleton
These children from All Saints Sunday School are enjoying their annual treat on 17 June 1911.
copyright © J.Middleton
Children attending All Saints Sunday School enjoyed sticking the special stamps in their album, week by week. This book dates from 1948. Note the little homily Every stamp says Duty done – every blank cries ‘Shame’.


According to former organist, Michael Maine, the original proposals for the organ were quite modest and the sort of model you would expect to find in an ordinary parish church. But when Arthur Hill saw the plans for the magnificent church, he became quite excited and he was inspired to produce an organ of cathedral-like proportions; there were three keyboards, 63 stops and 3,000 pipes. The largest pipe is 32 feet in length and weighs one ton. The famous firm of William Hill & Son always regarded the All Saints organ as one of their finest instruments; an opinion that is firmly upheld today. Indeed the British Institute of Organ Studies awarded this organ a Historic Organ Certificate, the only such award in the whole of Sussex.

It is fitting that such an instrument should be complemented by a truly splendid organ case. F.L. Pearson, son of J.L. Pearson, designed the organ case and Mrs Mortimer Singer donated the cost. On 4 June 1915 the Bishop of Sheffield, a former vicar of All Saints, dedicated the organ case.

Mr W.A. Macduff was the first organist at All Saints and he had been a pupil of the celebrated Dr Sawyer of St Patrick’s Church, Hove.

By 1910 it was claimed that the combined choirs of All Saints and St Andrew’s Old Church numbered 36 gentlemen and there is no mention of choirboys or females.

In 1980 Michael Maine beat 30 other applicants for the privilege of becoming organist and choirmaster at All Saints. He had previously been organist at St Paul’s West Street, Brighton. He was aged 23 and had been born and brought up in Cornwall. It is a strange coincidence that he had been a choral scholar at Truro Cathedral, another great Pearson edifice. He moved to Brighton in 1976. He has since achieved the rare distinction of being made an honorary member of the Guild of Church Musicians in recognition of his many years of work devoted to organ and choral matters in Brighton and Hove. He described the organ at All Saints as a ‘splendid instrument to play, as there is so much variety, yet a total blend of great richness.’ In addition to church services, the organ is heard to great effect in the recitals given by Michael Maine and fellow organists.

In around 1993 some £80,000 was spent on restoring the All Saints organ to its full glory and it has become an exemplar of how a Hill Organ ought to be. For example, when the organs at Eton College, Peterborough Cathedral and Litchfield Cathedral were being restored, the pipe-work at All Saints was studied and copied.


Clement Bell and Canon Peacey were responsible for the overall design of the windows.

East Window – There is a rare depiction of Jesus in two different roles, set side by side, which is quite a break from the conventional mode. On the left is Jesus the ‘man of sorrows and acquainted with grief ’ while to the right He is seen as ‘Christus Rex’ Christ in His Glory, a Heavenly priest. Below the sorrowful Jesus, there is the sorrowful Mary whose heart was pierced by the sword of suffering; below the triumphant Christ there is the figure of St John. But the overall message is upbeat because the windows to the left and right depict the Order of Angels with Thrones, Dominions, Principalities and Virtues with Archangels and the Armies of Heaven above them.
Mrs Henrietta Ralli donated the three windows in memory of her husband Stephen Ralli and his two sons Augustus and Antonio.

Chapel of the Holy Spirit – The annunciation window shows Mary receiving the Archangel Gabriel’s message and the nearby Madonna lily denotes Mary’s purity. The window was given in memory of Samuel Nicholson in 1912.
Above the altar there is a window depicting the crucifixion and resurrection. It was given in memory of Thomas Dale Hart in 1896.
To the right there is a window that takes Christ’s charge to St Peter as its subject while above it the ascension is depicted. The window was donated in 1903 and was in memory of Carr Wigg.
The next window shows the scene on the day of Pentecost while above it St Paul receives his conversion on the road to Damascus. Sabina Stratton donated the window and it dates from 1908.
The two large windows are devoted to stories from the Acts of the Apostles.  Starting from the east there is St Matthias and the casting of lots to chose the new apostle; then St Stephen, first Christian martyr; next is Dorcas, a charitable lady who distributed clothing and alms to the poor. (Many churches used to have a Dorcas Guild to carry out similar charitable work). Then follows St Cornelius and his vision of an angel, and St Paul and St Barnabas. Below this, St Paul is shown again, this time receiving his vision of a call to Europe; below St Barnabas there is a scene where money is laid at the feet of the Apostles, which was raised by the sale of property.
In the tracery depictions of the great virtues make their appearance; Love (at the centre) Faith (with chalice) Hope (with anchor) Temperance / Justice (with set of scales) Prudence (looking into the glass of the future) and Fortitude (with the armour of God). These windows date from 1902 and were donated in memory of Sir James Timmins Chance.
The south-west window illustrates characters from the Acts of the Apostles who were all friends of St Paul; Silas, St Timothy, Aquila, Priscilla, St Titus and Apollos. The gifts of the Holy Spirit appear in the tracery windows, which date from 1900 and were given in memory of Sir Alfred Henry Bevan.

South Transept – This window celebrates the Church Triumphant and has been described as a Te Deum in glass. The central light illustrates Christ in Glory with adoring angels on either side. Below this are the Blessed Virgin Mary and Child with St Peter on one side and St Paul on the other side. Further down is St John the Evangelist with St Cecilia (patron saint of music) on one side and St Catherine (with the wheel of her martyrdom) on the other side.
In the outer lights can be found St George (with his dragon) St Alban and St Cyprian, and on the right St Augustine of Hippo, St Stephen and St Athanasius. The window was given in memory of Charles Edward and Georgina Mary Boothby.

South Aisle – The first two windows in the south aisle were the first to be installed in the entire church and they were in place by October 1891; the third window followed in 1895. Together, the three windows have a theme of nine Apostles and eighteen scenes from the Gospels. A contemporary account had this to say, ‘(the windows) accord well with the architecture of the church …  the figures being set in elaborately canopied niches with angels above in the quatrefoils.’ Although the windows were full of colour, there was also an abundance of white glass in order that the interior should not be too dim.
The first window has almost life-size figures of St Andrew (with his saltire cross) St Peter (with two keys, one gold and the other silver) St James the Great (with a scallop shell in his hat and clasping a pilgrim staff). Below theses figures are three depictions of the dead being restored to life; Lazarus (brother of Martha and Mary and friend of Jesus), the widow’s son at Nain, and the daughter of Jairus. Then there are three post-resurrection appearances; to Mary Magdalene, to the two wayfarers on the way to Emmaus, and to St Thomas. Baroness Horatia Caroline de Teissier donated the window in memory of her husband Lieutenant Colonel James Fitzpatrick, 2nd Baron de Teissier who was churchwarden of Hove for four years; he was a veteran of the Afghan Wars of 1838-1842.
The central window features St Philip, St Bartholomew (with a flaying knife, the symbol of his martyrdom) and St Thomas. Below these figures are six scenes of Jesus as Healer; the Pool of Bethesda; the deaf and dumb man; the paralytic man let down through the roof; the woman with the flux of blood touching the hem of Christ’s garment; the boy possessed of a devil; the blind man. Mrs Penny Carr Burton gave the window as a thank-offering and the subject was very suitable for her because she was also a generous benefactor to Hove Hospital.
In the third window are St Simon, St James and St Jude while below are six scenes of Jesus meeting various people; Nicodemus; Zacchaeus; the penitent thief; the woman at the well; Mary and Martha; and Martha anointing Christ’s feet. The window was given in memory of William James Armitage (1819-1895) and his wife Emily.  

South Tower – This window illustrating the Tree of Jesse is the richest in colour of the many windows at All Saints. The central light shows a recumbent Jesse and above him are David, Solomon, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiel, Zerubbabel, and Zadoc; on the left are Rehoboam, Uzziah, and Shealtiel; on the right are Solomon, Asa, Josiah and Matthan. All these names are recorded in the first chapter of St Matthew’s Gospel when he seeks to portray the genealogical tree of Jesus. In the lower light are Isaiah and St Matthias. The Blessed Virgin Mary and Child and St Joseph appear in the tracery windows. Charles George Williamson donated the window in 1924 in memory of his wife Alice Louisa Nona.

Great West Window – Reginald Bell wrote in 1914 that the function of any great west window was not only to give light, especially in the evening, but also to illuminate the east end. The window was described as being of ‘soft and silvery tones, suggestive of lights and shades playing on a lake’.
The theme of the window was creation and re-creation. On the left, Eve is created from the rib of a sleeping Adam, attended rather surprisingly by blue-winged cherubs; the corresponding light shows the Blessed Virgin Mary (sometimes described as the Second Eve by theologians) with her Child and St Joseph holding a lantern; angels attend them on either side. The six days of creation are depicted below Eve while below the Holy Family are three scenes from the Nativity; Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem; angels appearing to the shepherds; the Magi and the star of Bethlehem. Colonel W.E. Marsland, Colonel of the 5th Dragoon Guards, gave the window in memory of King Edward VII who attended services at All Saints. General Marsland also donated windows in the Jesus Chapel and the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.

Baptistery – Bible stories are the subject matter of these windows, chosen for their appeal to young children. The left window shows Noah and below there are three scenes from his life; the building of the ark; the entry into the ark; Noah’s sacrifice after the flood.
The window was given in memory of Charles Gordon Hotham who died on 27 December 1927. Whether or not Mr Hotham would have been pleased with where his window is placed is open to conjecture. In his will he stipulated that he would like a large memorial window in the north aisle (the easternmost one) but when the trustees approached the vicar they found that space had already been reserved for someone else. This resulted in an unsavoury dispute (see under North Aisle).
A window to the memory of his wife Nonora Hotham is also in the Baptistery and is dated 1927. It is the window to the right of the central one and Moses is the subject with three scenes from his life set out below; the passage through the Red Sea; the delivery of the Tablets of the Law; and Moses striking a rock to bring forth water in the wilderness.
The central window depicts St John the Baptist and below there are six scenes from the childhood of Jesus; the Presentation in the Temple; the flight into Egypt; the disputation with the elders; the home at Nazareth; blessing the little children; and the baptism of Christ. The children of the parish donated this window in 1904.
There are two small windows to the north also with the subject of baptism; starting at the base, St Gregory in the slave market at Rome; St Paul at Damascus; and Nicodemus. Then there is St Augustine baptising King Ethelbert; St Peter baptising St Cornelius; and Nicodemus brining myrrh to the tomb.
The other window depicts St Wilfrid teaching the Saxons to fish; St Paul baptising Lydia; St Philip baptising people in Samaria; St Richard de Wych preaching to the Saxons; St Paul baptising the jailor at Philippi; and St Philip baptising the Ethiopian eunuch.
St Joseph of Arimathea and St Philip the deacon appear in the quatrefoils.
The parents and boys of Marlborough House School presented the window in 1912 in memory of Sophia Lombe White, the school founder.

North Aisle – The four windows are all devoted to Old Testament subjects and the main feature is the twelve Minor Prophets that are placed in the same order in which they appear in the Bible. The first window and the most westerly has the figures of Hosea, Joel and Amos while below them are Adam and Eve; the banishment from the Garden of Eden; and Abel sacrificing; the covenant with Noah; Abraham with the three angels; and Abraham offering Isaac. The window was given in memory of Mary Frances, wife of Brigadier General Broadwood (1851-1925) a veteran of the Boer War.
The next window shows Obadiah, Jonah and Micah and below them Jacob and Rachael at the well; Jacob wrestling with an angel; Joseph cast into a pit; Moses and the burning bush; and the brazen serpent. This window was given in memory of Edward Alfred Smithers who died 5 February 1914. He was a member of the well-known Smithers Brewery family (see Portslade Brewery).
The next window has the figures of Nahun, Habakkuk and Zephaniah and below them Joshua and the Captain of the Lord’s Host; Gideon with the fleece; Ruth and Naomi; Samson carrying the gates of Gaza; Samuel called by God; and David and Goliath. This window was given in memory of Herbert Welsford Smithers who died 9 July 1913.
The most easterly window is the one there was a dispute about. Charles George Hotham died 27 December 1927 and in his will expressed a desire to have a memorial window here. His executors were told the space was available but when they contacted the new vicar, Revd F.J. Meyrick, he stated Lady Ackroyd had reserved the window space. Naturally enough, this resulted in rash of correspondence between the parties. The consensus was that this particular space had always been reserved for Lady Ackroyd and there was some surprise that the previous vicar had neglected to mention it to Hotham’s trustees. Then there was the suggestion that because Lady Ackroyd was only prepared to splash out £300 on the window whereas the real cost was £368-10s, she might like to have instead one of the smaller Baptistery windows. The unfortunate artist Reginald Bell was caught in the crossfire and he had to protest he only designed the windows and had nothing to do with the placement, which decision rested with the church authorities. In the end Lady Ackroyd prevailed and the window was duly installed in memory of Sir Edward James Ackroyd who died 5 February 1904; the Hotham trustees settled for two smaller windows in the Baptistery.
Lady Ackroyd’s window followed the same theme as the others and there are depictions of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. Below them are Elijah and Ahab in the vineyard; Joash shooting the arrow of deliverance; Job in his affliction; the judgement of Solomon; the ascent of Elijah; and Nehemiah rebuilds the walls of Jerusalem. This last scene was apparently a change of plan from that in the schedule and mentioned in the dispute, which specified the subject as being Esther and Ahasuerus. Queen Esther was a Jewish heroine renowned for saving her people from destruction; somebody must have felt rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem a safer subject. Let the last word on the troubled history of this window rest with the artist Reginald Bell. ‘I intend to use … a very large portion of silvery white with broken notes of colour and I think this would result in softening the cross light on the east windows, which at the same time would not affect the light and shade of the reredos.’

North Transept – The rose window has been described as ‘a splendour of colour’ but it also contains two unexpected subjects. The central light shows Jesus with Isaiah above, Ezeliel below, Jeremiah on the left and David to the right. Around these figures are arranged ten depictions with the highest showing Christ with cross and chalice. The lower one represents the Jewish religion with Moses the Lawgiver and the two tablets of stone. But the Lawgiver has been given a blindfold to represent the truth having not yet been revealed. Today such a sentiment would cause offence. The second surprise is the depiction of four sibyls. In classical times sibyls were women revered for their prophetic powers, particularly the prophetess of Apollo. What an odd choice. But the meaning is clear when the positions are considered. The sibyls occupy the four lower places while the corresponding upper parts are devoted to four venerable Church Fathers – Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome and Gregory. Obviously, the theme is the Church Triumphant, and by implication, male superiority. Robert Kell, a City merchant who spent his weekends at Hove, gave the window in 1902.
Under the rose window there are three smaller windows. The one with Abraham and Moses was given in memory of John Edward and Ellen Martin in 1910. The next one showing Samuel and David was given in memory of William Holland by his daughter A. Maxwell Davis. Major Seafield Grant donated the last one depicting Elijah and Nehemiah in memory of his son Cecil de Montmorency Grant who died 26 October 1907.

Jesus Chapel – Here are the four Fathers of the Church again but in a slightly different sequence – Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome and Gregory. In the quatrefoils there are reproductions from a 16th century Book of Hours, one symbolizing the Holy Spirit and the other showing the Blessed Sacrament. The windows were given in memory of General and Mrs Marsland.

Narthex – The ‘grateful and loving children’ gave these windows in memory of their parents Canon Peacey and his wife Ellen Maria Connolly. The subjects are the Annunciation; the Nativity; the Magi, and the presentation in the Temple. The two small windows south and north of the narthex depict St George and St Patrick – St George for Canon Peacey who was born and brought up in London and St Patrick for his wife who came from Dublin where her father was a canon of St Patrick’s cathedral. The windows were unveiled on 1 November 1932.


Abbey – Lieutenant Noël Roland Abbey, son of William Henry Abbey and his wife Florence, Lieutenant of the Grenadier Guards ‘fell in battle before the forest of Nieppe April 12th 1918. In this very critical action the Guards held up the German advance for three days suffering severe losses.’ The memorial contains a coat of arms in colour; it is a quarterly device with one and four representing Abbey and two and three representing Belcher. The marble memorial has a deep carving of laurel leaves on one side and oak leaves along the top. It is mounted on the north wall of the north aisle.
Lieutenant Abbey was born on 23 December 1897, the second son of the family, and he was educated at Windlesham House, Brighton and at Eton where he won football colours. His family lived at 71 The Drive, Hove. Lieutenant Abbey’s grandfather Henry Abbey was Mayor of Brighton in 1875 and his uncle John Roland Abbey enjoyed collecting rare books with beautiful bindings or fine illustrations and he donated some items to Hove Library. In a similar fashion to the Smithers family, already mentioned, the Abbey family was also connected with the brewing industry. Lieutenant Abbey has another memorial in St Andrew’s Church, Nuthurst, while the ancient chapel of St Thomas and St Edmund of Canterbury in Chichester Cathedral was restored in his memory.

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The memorial tablet is in memory of 2nd Lieutenant Frederick Athelstan Fanshawe Baines.
Baines – 2nd Lieutenant Frederick Athelstan Fanshawe Baines of the 4th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps was only aged 19 when he was killed in action on 24 May 1915 near Ypres. The memorial includes a quarterly coat of arms representing Baines / Johnson / Oeils / and Cuthbert.
Baines was born on 2 February 1896 and he was baptised at All Saints on 4 March 1896. His father Athelstan Arthur Baines was a member of legal firm Fitzhugh, Woolley, Baines and Woolley of 3 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton. His mother Kathleen Mary was the eldest daughter of Revd Frederick Fanshawe. Another relative was Lieutenant Colonel Cuthbert Athelstan Baines of 41 Medina Villas, Hove.
2nd Lieutenant Baines had a tragically brief military career because he joined his battalion on Sunday and was dead by Tuesday. But in his short life he earned the respect of those who knew him. Captain Grattan-Bellew wrote that the last time he saw him ‘he was in great spirits and as cool as the oldest hand there’. His old headmaster at Winchester College wrote ‘This is the saddest blow I have felt so far; he was such a wholesome, honourable and attractive fellow, truly a white soul, if ever there was one.’

Cleeve – Sub Lieutenant Alexander Stewart Cleeve R.N. died 8 December 1888 at Hove from the climatic effects of service on the West Coast of Africa in the gunboat HMS Goshawk, which was launched in 1872. He was born 1 December 1863 at Aldershot, son of Colonel Stewart Alexander Cleeve and the late Maria his wife, and grandson of the late William Cleeve, Colonel of the staff of the Royal Artillery, Knight of St Louis of France for distinguished service.
The Cleeve coat of arms is included in the brass memorial, which is located on the south side of the south aisle.

Crotty – The Bishop Crotty memorial has a three-quarter face portrait in relief at the top with the following inscription: ‘ This church was restored in 1954 in memory of Horace Crotty, Bishop, vicar from 1943 to 1952. He loved it, enriched it, and began its restoration.’ James Woodford R.A. designed the plaque. (see also under ‘Vicars’).

Drummond – George Robinson Bridge Drummond, Captain of the 20th Regiment Bombay Light Infantry, Chief Constable of West Sussex for 32 years, died 27 April 1917. The memorial is a brass tablet.

Durnford – Set into the floor at the back of the church a brass plaque records that the foundations stone was ‘laid by Richard Durnford, Bishop of Chichester, St Mark’s Day March 25 1889 and the nave and aisles were consecrated by him St Philip and St James’s Day 1 May1891. Fell asleep in Christ at Basle October 14 1894 in the 26th year of his episcopate and the 93rd year of his age.’

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This memorial tablet is in memory of Private Harold Austen Goldsmith.
Goldsmith – Private Harold Austin Goldsmith, 12th Middlesex Regiment, died of wounds at Thiepval, France, 1 October 1916, aged 30. He was buried at Wimereux. The book Hove and the Great War contains the roll of honour and Private Austin is mentioned although his regiment is identified as the Royal Fusiliers, which means he must have been seconded at some stage.

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The Marlborough House War Memorial is situated near the font.

Marlborough House – Near the font, on the wall of the north aisle is a large plaque in memory of Old Boys and a master from Marlborough House School who died during the Great War.
And to
The boys of the school who fell in the Great War
From those to whom their memory is ever sacred
Lieutenant Edward Francis Egan R.N. HMS Ardent
Lieutenant Claude Ernest Vincent Hawkings R.N. HMS Iris
2nd Lieutenant Carol Edward Vere Awdry, 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers
2nd Lieutenant Charles Francis Ithell Bethell R.E.
Lieutenant Hatton Charles Conron R.A.F.
Captain Evelyn Claude Culling, 2nd Infantry Battalion of Canada
Captain Arbuthnott John Dunbar R.F.A.
Lieutenant John Matheson Forrester, Natal Contingent S.A. B.D.E.
2nd Lieutenant Burnett Gilroy Crauford Gardner R.E.
Lieutenant Stephen Easthaugh Girling, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
Major Raymond Sheffield Hamilton-Grace, 13th Hussars
2nd Lieutenant Sydney Jasper Hargreaves, Grenadier Guards
2nd Lieutenant Leslie Howis Hillman, Rifle Brigade
Captain John Brereton Howard, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
2nd Lieutenant Arthur Glanmore Lewis, North Wales Borderers
Captain Eric Bruce Reid, Royal Staffordshire Regiment
2nd Lieutenant Charles Ronald Rowley, Lancashire Fusiliers
Lieutenant James Clifford Turner R.F.A. & R.F.C.
Lieutenant Colonel William Ernest Marriott Tyndall D.S.O. Duke of Wellington’s Regiment
Lieutenant Hugh Wynn Wilding Jones, Royal Welsh Fusilers
Major George Cecil Brooke, 1st Battalion Border Regiment
Lieutenant Raymond de Lusignan, 1st Dublin Fusiliers
Major Arthur Kerr Noverre, Army Service Corps
Lieutenant Arthur Hill Sturrock, Royal Irish Fusiliers M.B.C.
Also Lieutenant Noel Gilbert Bryan King, Wiltshire Regiment (for six years assistant master)
Lieutenant Claude Ernest Vincent Hawkings is worthy of special mention. He was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Percy Hawkings of 49 The Drive, Hove. In 1908 Hawkings entered the Royal Navy as a cadet. He saw action at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May / 1 June 1916 and took part in the extraordinary Zeebrugge Raid 22 / 23 April 1918. His ship was HMS Iris, at one time a ferry working on the Mersey until commandeered by the Royal Navy. At Zeebrugge Hawkings had the task of trying to secure the vessel to the mole so that the landing party could scramble ashore. But the conditions were very difficult and it proved impossible to attach the parapet anchor to the mole; Hawkings made a gallant attempt to reach the mole by a scaling ladder. He managed it but the ladder smashed to pieces behind him; he was last seen standing on the parapet defending himself with his revolver; he was aged 22 when he was killed. His commanding officer Lieutenant Commander George Nicholson Bradford also perished in the valiant attempt and it was he who was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross while Hawkings received a mere Mention in Despatches. But it is fair to say that the authorities were in a dilemma over the award of medals because there were so many brave actions to consider.  

Marlborough House was founded in 1874 as a prep school for the sons of gentlemen and was located at Brighton at first but by 1888 it had moved to The Drive, Hove. Mrs Sophia Lombe White founded the school and her daughters Edith and Gertrude helped to run it. In 1894 there was further family assistance in the shape of Revd T.J. Bullick, Edith’s husband. The first pupil was Michael Egan who later became a general; his son, another Old Boy, was killed at Jutland.

The boys attended All Saints and apparently the boys who sat in the front row were forbidden to use hair oil because the vicar liked to pat their heads in passing. The boys maintained the school menu had remained unchanged since 1874 and included delicacies the boys nicknamed ‘Hard-baked tombstone’ ‘Dead man’s leg’ ‘Worms’ and ‘Old Hundreds’. Mrs White retired in 1912, leaving her daughter Miss Gertrude Wolsey White to run the school for the rest of the time it remained at Hove. In 1914 Miss White received a mysterious package from a parent in India. Inside was a pistol with instruction that should the Germans invade England, the weapon was to be used to shoot his two sons.

The writer Peter Vansittart (1920-2008) was a pupil at the school; the family had Flemish origins. He went on to become a prolific author penning some 40 novels besides stories for children, memoirs, historical studies and three anthologies. His most popular book was Voices from the Great War (1981). He wrote the following description of the unforgettable Miss Gertrude Wolsey White
‘She was formidable, invulnerable, as if, in her, Queen Victoria and Florence Nightingale had formed a working partnership …She was inescapable as God, and, on evidence, more active … Her stout, bulky, determined procession cut a swathe through complaint, complacency, conceit.’ Like Queen Victoria she was not easily amused and once pronounced ‘I do not approve of comedians’ after some frivolity at the annual cricket supper.
Another notable Old Boy was David Joel who attended the school between 1900 and 1904 before proceeding to the harsh environment of HMS Britannia. He later became a pioneer in the making of British contemporary furniture.
In 1930 Christopher Bullick, son of Edith née White, took over the running of the school in partnership with Arthur Harrison who enjoyed wearing ‘hugely checked plus-fours’. It was they who decided the school should leave Hove and in 1930 it moved into a fine Georgian house set in 35 acres near the village of Hawkhurst in Kent. It is still in operation there to this day. 

Ralli – There is a memorial tablet to Marietta Ralli, wife of Stephen Ralli. It includes a coat of arms and is located at the west end

Sanders – 2nd Lieutenant Frederick Sanders 7th Gurkhas died in India 19 March 1906 aged 20. The small brass tablet is located on the wall of the south aisle. Schoolfellows and friends at Marlborough House School paid for the tablet.

                copyright © Brighton & Hove City Libraries                                                              copyright © J.Middleton
This fine portrait of Captain Smithers is stored in the Roll of Honour Archive at Hove Library, the elegant memorial plaque in All Saints is in memory of Captain Reginald Cuthbert Welsford Smithers.
Smithers – Reginald Cuthbert Welsford Smithers Captain and Adjutant of 7th Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He was killed near Ypres in 1917 aged 19. God Gives us Love, something to Love He lends us.

 copyright © J.Middleton
The presence of the War Memorial is emphasised by the many adjacent flags.

War Memorial – The War Memorial is located in the south aisle and has 253 names of men who were killed in the Great War inscribed on the beautifully decorated stone. There are no names from those lost in the Second World War, just gold lettering at the base in memory of those who died.
There are three names added from the Great War that do not appear on the brass War Memorial tablets at Hove Library.
C.J.W. Hobbs
K.G. Malcolmson
D.D. Rose

Watts – Set into the floor at the back of the church, near the Durnford brass, there is a bronze plaque to the memory of Frederick James Watts who was verger of All Saints for over 43 years from 1892 to 1936. He died aged 65 in January 1936. He had arrived at Hove in 1881 when his retired coastguard father became caretaker of Ellen Street Schools. Mr Watts rode his bicycle everywhere and it was this that led to his death when he collided with a car in Church Road.


1892-1909 – CanonThomas Peacey
1909-1914 – Bishop Leonard Hedley Burrows
1914-1929 – Revd Archdall Malden Hill
1929-1943 – Canon Frederick James Meyrick
1943-1952 – Bishop Horace Crotty
1952-1964 – Revd Vernon Kingsbury Lippiett
1964-1972 – Revd Alexander Roden Blackledge
1972-1978 – Revd Walter Greenfield
1978-1980 – Revd Clifford Graham Doyle
1981-1991 – Revd Hugh Glaisyer
1991-2001 – Canon John Caldicott

Canon Thomas Peacey (1846-1909) – He was born 16 September 1846 and he was educated at City of London School and Clare College, Cambridge where he became 23rd Wrangler. Two other clergymen at All Saints also hailed from Clare College. Peacey was ordained in 1869 and became curate of St Margaret and St Nicholas, King’s Lynn, 1869-1873; then he was at St Ann’s, Dublin, 1873-1874; followed by a living at Downton, near Salisbury, 1874-1876; and then three years at St Mark’s, North Audley Street, London. Peacey became vicar of Hove on 2 April 1879 and held the post for almost 30 years, overseeing a time of great expansion in church affairs at Hove. In 1881 he stated that he came to Hove with no light heart because he understood just how heavy his workload would be.

He married Ellen Maria Connolly (born 10 March 1854) and she was daughter of a canon at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. The couple became the proud parents of a large family with three sons and seven daughters. This is usually given as the reason behind the impressive size of All Saints Vicarage.
The 1891 census shows Peacey, 44, in residence with his wife Ellen, 37, and their daughters Ellen 15, Constance 14, Katherine 9, Mary 6, Dorothy 3, and sons Harold 13, Capel 11, and two-year old Charles. Later that year the youngest, Charles, died and was buried on 27 June 1891.

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The extra large All Saints Vicarage can be seen on the right of this postcard.

In October 1893 a Grand Bazaar was held at Hove Town Hall for three afternoons to raise funds for George Street Schools. The string band of the Royal Irish Rifles provided the music. Foremost amongst items in the handicraft section were creations by two Peacey ladies. Mrs Peacey was a skilled wood carver and she produced pipe racks, brackets and book covers adorned with the Hove Coat of arms while one of her daughters was responsible for some elegant poker and marquetry work.
Mrs Peacey died on 22 October 1899 at Hove.

On 7 December 1904, after 25 years as vicar of Hove, Peacey was presented with a silver salver, a handsome illuminated album containing the names of all the subscribers and a cheque for £565.
Peacey died on 1 April 1909. His funeral was a grand affair attended by no less than 39 clergymen, the Bishop of Chichester, the Mayor of Hove, a detachment of Hove Fire Brigade while children from George Street Schools lined up on either side of Blatchington Road to witness the cortege passing by on its way to Hove Cemetery. The King sent a message of condolence. Souvenir postcards were produced to mark the melancholy occasion.
Peacey is immortalised on the exterior of All Saints where he is the 5th figure; he faces south west holding a completed model of the church in his hands.

Bishop Leonard Hedley Burrows - He was educated at New College, Oxford. He was Rural Dean of Croydon, Surrey from 1904 to 1909. In 1909 he became vicar of All Saints and in the same year was appointed Bishop of Lewes. His years at Hove coincided with the popularity of picture postcards and because he was a handsome man and cut an imposing figure in his wide dog-collar and clerical leggings, he was photographed on numerous occasions; the resulting postcards were snapped up by his many female fans. By contrast, his wife Louisa was a stern-looking woman who did not photograph well. In 1914 Burrows left Hove when he was appointed Bishop of Sheffield.           
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A formal portrait of Right Revd L.H. Burrows.          The interior of All Saints with a roundel of the bishop.
 copyright © J.Middleton
The Bishop of Lewes with his wife and their little dog.  The Bishop of Lewes giving the address at celebrations for Empire Day 24 May 1910.
The family suffered a tragedy on 2 October 1915 when their son 2nd Lieutenant Leonard Righton Burrows of the Northumberland Fusiliers was killed in action. It is even more tragic because he did not need to volunteer for the armed forces. When the Great War broke out he was working with the Educational Missions in India. He went there in 1912 after being educated at Charterhouse and receiving a 1st class honours degree from Oriel College, Oxford. But when he heard about the war he returned home to do his duty. His grieving mother was very touched when Mr J.W. Lister offered to place his name on Hove’s Roll of Honour. Mr Lister was Chief Librarian of Hove and was given the responsibility of collecting details of Hove’s war dead. Mrs Burrows wrote to Mr Lister to say that both she and her husband would love him to be mentioned and Hove Vicarage was his last home on earth.
Another son became a priest; he was Revd Hedley Robert Burrows.

Canon Archdall Malden Hill – He became vicar of All Saints in 1914 and he was also a lifelong friend of his predecessor Dr Burrows. Hill was described as having a ‘breadth of view, courteous tolerance and a willingness to hear all sides’. These qualities were evident during the Great War when there was so much unhappiness and distress caused by the carnage of battle; he even took the unusual step of chairing a meeting where the experiences of spiritualists were debated. He was also known as an excellent preacher.
On Armistice Day 11 November 1918 he was to be seen in front of the assembled throng outside Hove Town Hall waving a large Union flag.
His first wife died in 1923. He then married Marjorie Cooper, younger daughter of Revd Charles Edward Cooper, one time vicar of Portslade. She had been vicar’s secretary for many years. Hill retired in 1929 and was appointed a canon in the following year. He died on 4 April 1936 in his 73rd year; he left a gross estate of £1,381.

Canon Frederick James Meyrick – In 1917 he had the memorable experience of being a weekend guest of King George V at Sandringham. The King liked to meet people from diverse backgrounds and he spent some 40 minutes talking to Meyrick about his recent visit to the Front.
Meyrick was vicar of All Saints from 1929 until 1943. When he first arrived at Hove, he was anxious to see the long-awaited spire finally added to the tower of All Saints and there was even some £850 set aside for the purpose. But by October 1936 he had to concede it was a lost cause because there were too many other demands for church money in Hove Deanery. He stated ‘our duty lies elsewhere’. For example, there was the church site at Mile Oak and the building of the churches of Bishop Hannington and St Peter’s, Fishersgate to think about.
Meyrick was also interested in local history and in around 1932 produced his booklet Hove and the Parish Church.

Bishop Horace Crotty (1886-1952) – The remarkable Bishop Crotty was born on 9 October 1886 at Nottingham but moved with his family to Australia at a young age. He was educated at Melbourne Grammar School and Trinity College, Melbourne University. During the Great War he served as a chaplain with the Australian Imperial Forces in France.
In 1928 he became Bishop of Bathurst, New South Wales. He enjoyed a fine academic career but he never lost the common touché and his splendid work amongst the mining community in Newcastle was warmly regarded.
He resigned his see in 1936 because he was so disturbed at the unsettled state of Europe and felt impelled to return to England. He said ‘My own special interest as a churchman has been in the battle for human faith and freedom in which I believe England still leads the world.’ He ministered to the people of St Pancras during the worst part of the bombing of London.
He became vicar of All Saints in 1943 and was appointed Rural Dean of Hove in 1946. He was a memorable speaker and the following extracts are typical of him:

‘It’s no good putting an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff if you neglected to put a fence at the top.’ (Address on Moral Welfare 1950)

‘Those who claim to be in tune with the infinite are frequently out of tune with the definite – the Holy Spirit is the enemy of vagueness.’    

‘We become soldered against sin at some point, flourishing on a single virtue, while we leak dismally at every other moral pore.’

A good friend of Bishop Crotty was his curate Revd Donald Carpenter who arrived at All Saints in 1948 from Wales. He had an electrifying effect on the staid parishioners of All Saints who had never known a priest like him. Carpenter was warm-hearted, ebullient and the possessor of a marvellous voice. He had dark hair and eyes and was of such short stature that he was almost swamped in the pulpit. Carpenter was a fan of the theatre and he could give masterful renderings of the poems of Dylan Thomas, whom he knew slightly.
The actor Dinsdale Landen was once a choirboy at All Saints. One early morning he was serving as an acolyte and had to accompany Carpenter to the chapel where just two communicants were waiting. Carpenter turned to him and said ‘A poor house this morning, Din, but you’d better get used to it, boy, as you’re going into the theatre.’
When Bishop Crotty was ill at Hove Hospital and on a diet, Carpenter would visit him every evening with the Bishop’s favourite ice-cream hidden under his coat. Bishop Crotty died suddenly on 16 January 1952 and it was Carpenter who conducted his funeral. Afterwards, Carpenter felt he must move to pastures new and went to St Mary’s, Hampden Park where he stayed until he died in 1973.

Canon Vernon Kinglsey Lippiett – Bishop Crotty and Don Carpenter were a hard act to follow. But Revd Lippiett was a wartime veteran, having served as a Naval padre in the Second World War. He served aboard the cruiser HMS Glasgow in the waters around Iceland, Murmansk and the Azores. He also participated in the D-Day landings.
In 1953 there was a dispute about whether or not ‘Amen’ should be sung at the conclusion of hymns. Lippiett was against the tradition but after a vote it transpired a small majority were in favour of it.
Lippiett left Hove in 1964 to become a residentiary canon at Chichester Cathedral.

Revd Alexander Roden Blackledge – He became vicar of All Saints in 1964 and retired because of ill health eight years later.

Revd Walter Greenfield – During the Second World War Greenfield was commissioned into the Royal Engineers and saw action in the Burma campaign. Before coming to Hove, Greenfield had spent eight years as vicar of Willington, Eastbourne. His wife Kathleen kept two beehives in the garden of All Saints Vicarage. She used to keep one hive at Ditchling and one hive at Hove but the latter did so much better that she moved the Ditchling one to Hove too. The bees produced up to 200lbs of honey a year.
In 1977 Revd Graham Jeffery was a curate at All Saints. He published six books of cartoons featuring a little monk called Barnabas.

Revd Clifford Doyle – He became vicar in 1978 but he died at the age of 47 after only two years at Hove, leaving a window and children.

Archdeacon Hugh Glaisyer – Soon after his arrival at Hove he was photographed for the local Press, looking just as fierce as the large Alsatian dog by his side. His family history was interesting because his forbears were staunch Quakers and the Glaisyers were a well-known local family.
In July 1985 the Bishop of Chichester ordained his curate, Colin Mattock, at All Saints.
Glaisyer was also Rural Dean of Hove and left Hove in April 1991 to become Archdeacon of Lewes and Hastings.

Canon John Caldicott – He was born locally and used to attend St Andrew’s Church, Portslade as a youngster. In 1991 at the age of 46 he was appointed vicar of All Saints; his previous parish being Forest Hill. But a week before the date of his induction, he was involved in a bad car crash at Nantes and ended up with a leg in plaster and an injured back.
Caldicott was inducted in September 1991 but the impressive service was marred by the sudden collapse and death of Revd John Arrowsmith, vicar of St Barnabas and acting Rural Dean. There were accusations that medical assistance had not been sought quickly enough. There was also criticism that the service was allowed to proceed and trained nurse Margaret Thurley was appalled. She had rushed over to help from Catisfield House opposite the church. It later transpired that the Bishop of Chichester had no idea of the gravity of the situation and thought Arrowsmith had been taken straight to hospital.
Canon Caldicott resigned in January 2001 and announced he would spend three months considering his future. He had to resolve the thorny problem of whether or not he wished to remain within the Anglican Church. This was precipitated by the decision that women could be ordained to the priesthood. He thought the Anglican Church should not have taken such an arbitrary step and should have waited until there was consensus with the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. He was not the only clergyman to be upset by the decision and indeed the Diocese of Chichester was well known for being one of the most traditional in England while Eric Kemp, Bishop of Chichester, was never a fan of women priests. Canon Caldicott made up his mind and on 21 June 2001 he was received into the Roman Catholic Church.

Link:- All Saints Hove Church website


Census Returns
Encyclopaedia if Hove and Portslade
Meyrick, Canon F.J. Hove and the Parish Church (c.1932)

The Keep

PAR 387//10/177 – All Saints, conveyance of site 1879
PAR 387/10/194/1-10 – Dispute about placement of a stained glass window between two sets of executors     

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