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St Thomas a Becket

Open every day, St Thomas is steeped in history, built as a chapel for Cliffe the dedication to St Thomas a Becket suggests the chapel was founded in the late 12th century.

Lewes, Sussex

Opening times

We look forward to welcoming you to this oasis of calm and tranquillity, open daily for meditation, private prayer and visits.


Cliffe High Street

St Thomas is an oasis of calm, and steeped in history. Probably built as a chapel in the late 12th century, the dedication to Thomas à Becket reveals the link to Canterbury through Malling Deanery. The church had at least one aisle in the 13th century, and the chancel may keep the dimensions and even some walls of its possible 12th century predecessor. Following the reconstruction of the church in the 14th century, the plan of the western part of the church is almost square, the arcades are the best evidence of this.

The fine royal coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth I modelled in plaster bears the date 1598. Beneath it is an oil painting of the royal arms of England’s first two Hanoverian kings: George I, crowned 1714, and George II who reigned from 1727 to 1760. There is a colourful collection of 19th century stained glass. The late 15th century tower's flint walls appear as an irregular chequer pattern in certain lights.

The tower is topped with a splendid gilded weathervane; its interior spiral stair is locked but guided tours, bookable in advance, will be offered from late 2022.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Social heritage stories

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Dog friendly

  • Level access to the main areas

  • On street parking at church

  • Parking within 250m

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Traditional sung service, with Communion and hymns, every Sunday at 9.45am.

  • Church of England

Contact information

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