St. Mark the Evangelist Church

The congregation of St Marks will be delighted for you to join them for worship or to visit the church. We have a weekly Sunday service, usually at 9.00am, as well as special services for festivals.  Full details on our website. The church has strong links with the village school, and children are very welcome at all services, with especially family-orientated services on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.  To arrange baptisms, weddings or funerals, contact the Rector.

Charity Reg. No. 1130925
Activity Address St. Mark the Evangelist Church, Main Road, Hadlow Down
Contact Reverend Dr. John Barker
Address The Rectory, Church Road, Buxted, Uckfield, Sussex  TN22 4LP
Telephone 01825 733103
Mobile 07391028947
Web Site URL

Parish Picnic next Sunday!

By popular demand, the Church is re-introducing the tradition of having a Parish Picnic.

It will take place next Sunday, 5th August, from 3.30pm at Gill Hope Farm, Wilderness Lane, Hadlow Down, TN22 4HU. There will be plenty of parking spaces available. Please do come along and support this wonderful initiative.

We aim to combine an informal opportunity to get together with raising funds for the parish.

You should bring your own picnic, drinks, rugs or chairs. There will be lots to do, including walks in the woods, swimming pool to cool off if it is still hot, Bat and Trap, Petanque, and a sausage sizzle.

If you need more information, please contact Father John or else email

‘Beating the Bounds’ Around Buxted Parish

Saturday June 23rd from 10.00 – 2.00pm
Section 1 from Coopers Green, Five Ash Down to Hendall Gate Farm- 3 Km approx. start 10.00a.m.
Section 2 from Rocks Lane to the Oast Farm, Howbourne Lane–4.5 Km approx. start 11.00a.m.
Section 3 from Howbourne Lane to Shepherd’s Hill – 3Km approx. start 12.15p.m.
Section 4 from Shepherd’s Hill to St. Margaret’s Church via Buxted Park – 4 Km approx. start 1.00p.m.
Why not join us ? Meet at St. Margaret’s Church at the times indicated above and you will be transported and returned from any section you wish to walk.For more information contact Peter on 07946541934 or 01825 830009

Thanks to all who supported the Tea Party!

The Tea Party was a great success! Thanks to all who baked, came for tea, bought raffle tickets and stayed for the Cake Judging!

St.Marks looked gorgeous, decked all over in bunting, tea tables set with pretty tablecloths and flower posies by Félicité Flowers. The tea was served on beautiful old china tea sets which added to the charm. Glen Miller tunes played in the background and the church was filled with the sound of chatter and the odd prosecco glass clinking!

Our thanks to our wonderful guest judge, Mary-Ann Pickering, founder of the Crow Kitchen. Mary-Ann took on the task of tasting 60 cakes magnificently!  There were some really stunning entries. The Children’s entries were particularly impressive, so creative…”show stoppers!”

The Bake Off Winners were…

Classic Sponge
1st Place Lizzie with her Lemon and Blueberry sponge
2nd Place Sarah Prall and her Victoria sponge with Strawberries and Cream
3rd Place Tamara Lawson’s Poppy Seed and Lemon Cake

Whoopsie Daisy
1st Place Anne Peate and her FlapJacks
2nd Place Alison Bentley with the delicious Chocolate Cake
3rd Place Angela Wilkes lovely lemon Drizzle cake

Biscuits and Scones
1st Place Emily Bellhouse…’Self Portrait’ Biscuits
2nd Place Nell Drake and her Chocolate Brownies
3rd Place Amelia Burden with her Crispy Sandwiches

Kids under 10yrs
1st Place Oliver Eridge for his Dragon and Castle Cake
2nd Place Grace Andrews with her Bee Hive
3rd Place Mollie Burden with a Charlie and the chocolate Factory Cake

Also Highly commended cheese scones by Rory Lynch

The Tea Party and Raffle raised an amazing £472!

The proceeds from the event are to be shared between the School and Church. With thanks to all the School Mums who helped organise and set up the event and of course to Father John for encouraging the event and allowing us the use of the Church.

Wildlife in the Churchyard

As the countryside in Britain becomes more industrialised and urbanised, there are fewer places for wildlife to live and wildflowers to grow. But there are tiny areas in every village, town and even city that are holding out against the onslaught.

These are churchyards, and in some parts of the country they are the only protected eco-systems in their area where remnants of the local flora and fauna can survive.

Graveyards have become important havens for our native wildflowers and a host of creatures…there are some glorious examples of this at St.Mark’s as this lovely photograph by Nicola Neal reveals. Do have a walk through the churchyard if you can.

The History and Life of St Mark’s

A Presentation given by Michael L Ford, late Churchwarden, The Parish Church of St Mark the Evangelist, Hadlow Down on 22nd March 2014 based on the original talk given during the celebrations of the Centenary of the Consecration of the present church on 25th October 2013.

Last October, we celebrated the centenary of the consecration of this church on 25th October 1913. That day, 100 years ago, was a big day for Hadlow Down. A large crowd of over 300 people gathered to welcome the RR Charles Ridgeway, Bishop of Chichester, into this building for a service of Consecration to start a century of continuous worship. He was accompanied by the Rural Dean and many local clergy including the Vicars of St Mary’s Buxted and St Margaret’s Buxted Park, and of course the Vicar, Rev John Warner.

Parish Church of St Mark the Evangelist

But the story and history of the church really begins some 80 years before that and it is the story of a building, a family and a house. The house is the Grange. In 1835, it was called Buxted Lodge and it was owned by Benjamin Hall. The hamlets of Hadlow Down and Five Ashes consisted of a few houses belonging to gentle people, many prosperous farms besides a multitude of small farms worked by what were called smock frock farmers and probably 150 labourer’s cottages. For some time Mr Hall had been writing to the Archbishop of Canterbury and anyone else he could think of who might help get a church for the Hamlet, reportedly including the King and the Duke of Wellington. He explained that not only worshippers had to walk 3 – 2 5 miles to get to the churches in Buxted Park and Mayfield but also that there were many poor children wandering about the lanes in ignorance of almost any duty, moral or religious. The Archbishop eventually agreed to allow a church to be built but said there was no money.. A public subscription was opened which raised about £1200 towards the estimated cost of £1800. Over 100 Donors contributed sums ranging from Lord Liverpool of Buxted Park’s £100 to several of five shillings. The remainder was obtained from various sources and the church was built. The Archbishop of Canterbury, William Howley, who had also donated £100, had a free date in his diary and agreed to consecrate the church on 6th May 1836. Continue reading “The History and Life of St Mark’s”

Visitors Guide

HADLOW DOWN Visitor’s Guide

Entering by the west door, the BAPTISTRY in the north west alcove contains the original FONT dating from 1833. The brass cover to the font is engraved to the memory of Miss Breeze and was presented in 1950.

The opposite alcove on the south side contains the SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE where parishioners who fell in two world wars are commemorated. The prayer desk which faces the memorial tablet was at Hadlow Grange for some sixty years.

The handsome TAPESTRY KNEELERS, designed by Margaret Macdonald and executed by ladies and friend of the parish, were completed in 1971.

The fourteen STATIONS OF THE CROSS on the walls of the nave are of moulded plaster coloured by the Baroness de Coudenhove (as an artist known as Emily Nicholson) were presented in 1953.

The raised DAIS, PRESIDENTS CHAIR AND PORTABLE ALTAR TABLE at the front of the nave were introduced in 2001, purchased by a trust fund established from a bequest from Mrs Costello, a daughter of Mr C L Huggins. The PULPIT and LECTERN are distinctive for their ironwork. They were specially designed to blend with the 17th century ironwork adapted as a CHANCEL SCREEN. The portable SPEAKER’S STAND in wrought iron and brass was donated by ladies and friends of the church in 1995. The extensive use of wrought iron in St. Mark’s recalls the local iron industry which was so important to the economy of this part of Sussex in the Tudor period.

The HANGING ROOD in the chancel arch was carved in Oberammergau and presented to the church in 1913 by Revd B Spink.

The ORGAN is the fourth instrument since the rebuilding of the church. The chapel of 1836 had no organ but it is recorded that one Jack Wren of Blackboys played the bass viol, his son the bassoon, and one Walter Bean the clarinet. The present organ is an electronic Two Manual Overture Classical organ from Makins and was purchased by the Costello Trust Fund mentioned above. It was first used in December 1993 having been installed by Charles Smith in his fiftieth year as parish organist.

The HIGH ALTAR has a marble MENSA and handsomely carved front. It was presented by Mr Huggins who also gave its ornaments of moulded brass. These were silver plated in 1970 as a memorial to Ada Florence Turner by her husband. (These are only on display during services.}

The PROCESSIONAL CROSS, with enamelled representations of the four evangelists, was used for the first time on Easter Day, 1934. It was given en memory of Viscount and Countess Hood, who once lived in the Five Ashes area of the parish. It was fashioned by Captain Ward, brother of the Countess.

The LADY CHAPEL on the south side of the nave is one of the most attractive features of the church. It was particularly designed for private prayer and meditation, and the Blessed Sacrament is perpetually reserved here for the sick and dying.

Above the Lady Chapel altar is a depiction of the MAGNIFICAT by Edward A Fellowes Prynne (brother of the architect). The picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1897 and, until placed here, was hung in the hall of Hadlow Grange.

The windows in the Lady Chapel depict the Christian year in wild flowers and were given in memory of Charles Lang and Agnes Maud Huggins by their nine children. There is also a wall plaque commemorating the lives of the three sons of Basil and Rhona Huggins, who were killed in action during the Second World War. Mr C L Huggins himself lies at rest in the churchyard immediately east of the Lady Chapel.

The CHURCHYARD was closed for burials by an Order in Council in 1985 when the new adjacent burial ground, the responsibility of the Parish Council, was opened. A pathway from the west door to an Anniversary gate leading to the new burial ground was opened in 1986. The Churchyard contains seven official war graves from the First and Second World Wars.

In commemoration of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, a wrought iron Jubilee gate was erected at the entrance to the churchyard from St Mark’s Church of England Primary School

The wild flowers in the churchyard are very fine, and some of the grass is not mown in summer so that they may flower and seed. The churchyard is classified as a site of Nature Conservation Importance.

Free copies of this Guide are available in the church

St. Mark’s Church and School Baking Competition, Tea Party and Raffle

Please join us in St. Mark’s Church on Saturday 9th June, 3pm – 5.30pm for a Tea Party, Baking Competition and Raffle


• Special Guest Judge
• Awesome Raffle Prizes
• Cream Tea Packages  available to pre-order
• Specialist Teas and Coffees
• Prosecco and Pimms

We would be very grateful for any cakes to be donated for the Tea Party.
Cake Competition Entry Requirements

Enter as many categories as you wish. There is a 50p donation to enter each category.

Once your entry/entries have been judged we would like to sell the cakes. Monies raised will be shared between the School and the Church

Please confirm your entry by filling out and entry form available from the school and church. Or you may like to e-mail Nicola or Katherine

Please deliver your entry by 2pm on 9th June 2018.

The Classes are as follows

• Classic Sponge
• Whoopsie Daisy
• Biscuits and Scones
• Kids under 10 years