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Broadwater, St Mary's Parish Church 1890

Broadwater, St Mary's Parish Church 1890

Neg. 22700


Caption for Broadwater, Church 1890

The question of taste was fundamental to Victorian church building. Classic was denounced as vulgar and pagan. The only true style for Christian architecture was pure Gothic, preferably that of the 13th and 14th centuries. St George's, built in flint and stone to a design by George Trufitt, displays an original use of the Gothic style. At first there was only an apsidal chancel and nave and a singular bell turret. A new vestry and two new porches were added in 1875. By 1884, a transept had also been added. Between 1873 and 1879 a new Church was built to serve the parish of Heene. Funded by subscriptions as part of West Worthing New Town, the new modern spacious 19th century church of St Botolph's was built near the site of an earlier chapel which had, by the 17th century, fallen into disrepair. By 1778 most of the fabric had been removed, and only a fragment remains, just beyond the eastern end of the new church. St Andrew's, Clifton Road, was the last parish church to be built in pre-war Worthing. It was possibly also the most controversial, for it marked the beginning of Anglo-Catholicism in the town. One of the underlying factors in the Gothic revival within the Church of England had been the movement towards greater decency and ritual in church services. This began in the 1820s and 1830s among a small group of Oxford dons, and was initially a purely theological aspiration aimed at restoring a greater awareness of the historical church and its hierarchical ministry. By the 1860s there were Anglican churches in both London and the fashionable seaside resorts, where the use of lighted candles, ornate vestments and incense had been revived.

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