Empshott is a beautiful area of English farmland and woodland at the headwaters of the River Rother, the church is 13th century, though there has inevitably been some rebuilding over the centuries, including a charming bell turret.
The church was built in 1865 to replace a much older chapel which had fallen into disrepair. It was designed by the eminent Victorian church architect Samuel Teulon in Romanesque style but with an unusual Rhenish Helm tower. It has a nave with two side aisles, chancel, small memorial chapel to members of the Maberly family who built the church, and a vestry.
The internal finish is to a very high standard, particularly the decorative stone carving which is exceptional for its time in a small parish church. The carvings on the capitols on the aisle pillars, the corbels supporting the open timbered roof and those behind the altar are of exquisite design and workmanship. The church also contains beautiful stained-glass windows, particularly several dedicated to members of the Maberly family and a recent war memorial window featuring the church in its countryside surroundings. There is also a clear Millennium window etched by Simon Whistler with cockerel and crossed keys for Saints Peter and Paul, the church’s patron saints.
Stunning, tactile Tree of Life glass doors help to make the church light and welcoming. The church otherwise remains little changed internally since 1865. The Portland marble font of around 1190 remains from the earlier chapel.
The tower has a peal of eight bells and there is an active band of bell ringers.
There is a ramp for disabled access and a hearing loop plus a cheerful children’s area making the church welcoming to all.