Worthing, Sussex Genealogy
Worthing has seen the development of chapels and churches in the town over several centuries.
A chapel at Worthing was recorded in 1291, and in 1410 was being used for mass. Two chaplains, possibly of Worthing chapel, occurred in the early 15th century. The chapel still existed in the early 16th century, but by 1575 was in private hands. It had been demolished by 1635 when the rector of Broadwater claimed its site as part of the endowment of Broadwater church. That site is unknown; the identification with Vicarage Garden, north of North Street, is doubtful.
After at least two unsuccessful attempts to build a chapel of ease to Broadwater an Act of 1809 appointed trustees, including the rector of Broadwater, to build one. The rector was empowered to nominate a curate, but no marriages or burials were to be performed in the chapel. The building, in Chapel Road, was consecrated in 1812, but it remained a chapel of ease until 1894 when a parish was formed out of Broadwater and St. George's parishes. The benefice was called a perpetual curacy until c. 1902 and thereafter a vicarage. In 1898 its patronage was transferred from the rector of Broadwater to trustees, with whom it remained in 1978.
The chapel was built by subscriptions, and money was raised to maintain it and to pay the incumbent by the sale or leasing of pews and by a rate levied on the pews' proprietors. In 1813 most of the proprietors were those who let lodgings and furnished houses. The pews were freely bought and sold until the 1880s when many were redeemed and presented to the diocese. The rector of Broadwater provided a house for the incumbent by 1853. A vicarage in Ambrose Place had been acquired by 1905. The Good Shepherd mission room in Gordon Road was licensed for worship in 1908. It had been closed by 1972. From Worthing: Churches', A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1: Bramber Rape (Southern Part) (1980), pp. 119-122. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18230&strquery=Worthing
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