The Church of St Catherine of Siena is located at the east of Cocking village between the manor house and Costers Brook. The present manor farmhouse dates from the 15th century and is a Grade II listed building. Parking for the church is in the grounds of the former Manor Farm and is accessed off Mill Lane; there is no vehicular access via Church Lane.
Our church is also usually open for private prayer during daylight hours. Intercessions may be left in the book for the purpose in the Lady Chapel. Candles may be lit as a sign of prayer. Various versions of the scriptures are placed in the Lady Chapel for those who wish to consult them.
A brief history
The oldest parts of our beautiful church date from the 11th century although most of the church is later, from the 12th to 14th centuries, with substantial additions in the mid-19th century.
In “Cocking Church, West Sussex. A Short History and Guide” published in 1975, Peter Leicester claims that it is believed that a wooden church was built in Cocking around 680, whereas other sources accept that the present church replaced an earlier Saxon church. The chancel arch has been dated as from c. 1080.
The present church was built at the end of the 11th century as a simple “two cell” church with the nave and chancel The south aisle and Lady Chapel were added about 1300 during the decorated Gothic period; at the same time, the chancel windows were enlarged and the tower was built.
The church had no dedication until, in April 2007, the congregation agreed to dedicate the church to St Catherine of Siena, whose name is engraved on one of the church bells. The church is a Grade I Listed building. Inside the church, the main features of interest are the 11th-century chancel arch, the remnants of a 13th-century wall painting and the 12th-century font.
The village war memorial is situated alongside the southern gate into the churchyard from Sunwool Lane, close to where this crosses Costers Brook, in the area known locally as “Bumble Kite”. The memorial was originally erected in 1920 in the garden of the headteacher’s house attached to the school on the corner of Mill Lane and was moved to its present location in 1959.
In the church is a fascinating list of parish priests who have served Cocking since the 14th century up until the present day – you can find out more about them here
How to find us
St Catherine of Siena : Mill Lane, Enter Mill Lane, Cocking, West Sussex, GU29 0HJ
Cocking lies on the A286 between Midhurst and Chichester.
From Midhurst, take the A286 for approximately 2.5 miles. As you enter Cocking, look out for the Bluebell pub on your right and the turning for Mill Lane is just before the post office on your left. If coming from Chichester, take A286 look out for the Bluebell pub on your left and turn right immediately past the Post Office. Enter Mill Lane and after 100 yds turn right into the car park by the barn. The entrance to the churchyard is past the barn through open iron gates