History - All Saints', Blackham
Prior to c.1870, residents of Blackham would have to make the journey to the parish church in Withyham to worship. As such, the Withyham rector, Rev Charles Nassau Sutton, claimed that in Blackham, “Sunday was entirely disregarded”, it was instead a place where drinking and fighting prevailed and smugglers prospered. Over the years the village became more devout and services began to take place in the village school. When the owner of the school, Mr Haig, chose to hire a Presbyterian minister, the rector at Withyham, Rev Thomas Rudston-Read made the decision to self-fund a church in Blackham.
On All Saints’ Day in 1884, a humble church made of iron sheets was opened in Blackham close to where the current church stands. Funded out of the pocket of the philanthropist, Rev Thomas Rudston-Read, the Iron Church in Blackham cost £330. For some years Blackham prospered greatly and the tiny building proved inadequate for the needs of the hamlet.
The church that stands today, All Saints’, was opened in 1902 and the Iron Church became known as the Reading Room. All Saints’ was built for the needs of the hamlet, seating 200 people, at a cost of £1,256, funded mainly through grants and donations.
The Archdeacon of Lewes laid a foundation stone in 1901 and the church was constructed out of local stone from the Hackenden Quarries in East Grinstead with dressings of Bath stone. The style is early English and has a chancel and nave with a stone bell turret at the west end.
Baptisms and weddings are able to take place at All Saints', Blackham. Normally services are held here on the fifth Sunday of the month as well as for Harvest, Remembrance Sunday and Christmas. Please refer to the Calendar of Services.
For more information on All Saints', Blackham & Blackham village: http://www.blackham-village.co.uk/