Steyning parish church renamed

STEYNING'S parish church is to be renamed to recognise the saint believed to have been its founder.

St Andrew's Church, in Church Street, will be rededicated to include St Cuthman on Sunday, February 8.

It will be the first time the church has been renamed in almost 750 years, with the earliest reference to St Andrew's Church which has been found dating back to 1263AD.

Two years ago, the Herald revealed discussions on the renaming the church were underway.

Cuthman

The church will be officially rededicated by the Rt Rev John Hind, Bishop of Chichester, on Cuthman's feast day.

He will "pronounce, decree and declare" the dedication will be St Andrew and St Cuthman, at the Eucharist on February 8.

According to legend, Cuthman is believed to have been born near Bosham, about 30 miles from Steyning, in around the year 680AD.

When he and his disabled mother fell on hard times, Cuthman built a one-wheeled cart in which to move her around, and travelled east, towards

the rising sun.

When the cart broke, in Steyning, Cuthman saw it as a sign from God to stop and build a church.

Caring

Cuthman's name is already evident throughout the town, with a road and field named after him, along with the Cuthman Centre, at Steyning Grammar School.

The image of Cuthman with his mother and the cart features on Steyning's town signs, and his statue can be found near the church.

In the church's parish magazine, St Andrew's vicar Paul Rampton wrote how Cuthman cared for his mother had parallels in the town now.

"There are many such people in Steyning today," added Dr Rampton.

"As we add Cuthman's name to the dedication of the church, let it be more than just something of historical interest.

"Let it be a way of saying that we believe that God's care for us and our caring for others is at the heart of what the building stands for."

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