St. Nicholas’, Houghton
St Nicholas’ church stands just above the water meadows near the Arun river crossing at Houghton Bridge.
It is a simple structure with just a nave, chancel and small porch. Although the church was renovated in 1856-57, it has changed little from its 13th century origins.
The church’s interior is very simple. Although it was refashioned during 19th century renovations, in style it harks back to the austerity of the 17th and 18th centuries. On either side of the altar there are stone tablets reminding parishioners of the ten commandments. Behind the pulpit another stone tablet bears the Apostle’s Creed; no doubt as a check against wayward preachers!
Only a well-preserved brass tells of pre-reformation days. It marks the burial place of Thomas and Anna Cheyne and is dated 1486.
The other thing of note in St Nicholas’ is a charming chamber organ. It was built and installed in the church in about 1830. Unfortunately the makers name is unknown. There is a brass plate bearing the name of Alfred Monk, but this refers to the builder who rebuilt the instrument in the early 1900s.
Before becoming a parish in its own right, St Nicholas’ church was a chapel attached to the neighbouring parish of Amberley. It was joined to the parish of Bury in 1933.
Unfortunately, St Nicholas’ is the only church in the benefice that is not open each day. If you would like to visit, however, arrangements can be made to open the church for you. Just contact us using the form on the ‘Contact us’ page.