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Tour of St Peter's

St Peter's was first erected in 1938 as a church hall and Mass centre, to meet the needs of the growing Catholic population. The first Mass was celebrated on Easter Day 1939. In 1965 the parish was transferred from Chichester to Selsey, but in 1985 the parishioners won full parish status for the Witterings, with Father John Stone appointed as the first Parish Priest in October 1986.

The church was consecrated on June 13th 2006, after 67 years, by Bishop Kieran Conroy, with Father Kieron O'Brien, Parish priest and Father Thomas Swaffer O'Praem, assistant priest until October 2006.

The most recent changes included a smaller altar in Travertine marble, quarried and constructed in Italy. Fr. Thomas obtained certified relics of Saints Peter Paul, placed under the mensa. (Fr. Thomas is one of the Norbertine fathers from the priory at Storrington which has a long standing connection with St. Peter's).

The stained glass window, installed in 1963, included Loire glass from Chartres, similar to those installed at St. Richards.

The altar was furnished with a lectern and ceremonial seat, the whole altar setting designed by a parishioner.

The silver tabernacle and consecration sconces were provided by Bishop Kieran. They were formerly in the chapel of Bishop Cashman's house at Storrington, now vacated for a smaller house. Two sconces serve as candleholders on the new altar.

The statue of St. Theresa of Lisieux was originally in the Carmelite Convent in Hunston. After their move to Sclerder Abbey they returned the statue to St. Peter's.
Canon Giffin had the splendid crucifix suspended above the chancel.
After his death, the Stations of the Cross were installed in his memory.

With practical wisdom, Canon Giffin also enlarged the vestibule of the church, including a toilet and a successful repository. Together with the adjacent church hall, St Peter's is an excellent setting to support a vigorous and enterprising Parish.

More recently the Parochial Council decided to dispense with chairs and install benches.

The shortage of priests has turned history full circle and St Richard's now sends priests to celebrate Mass at St Peter's. As Father Stone wrote in 1989:

"Let us give thanks for the past fifty years and look forward to a happy future in unity with God and one another".

The Marian Garden

This garden was constructed in 2006 at the behest of ladies who regularly went on pilgrimage to Medjugorje. The statue of Our Lady of Lourdes came from the USA. It stands in an archway constructed by a parishioner. The garden is a place of meditation, prayer and peace.(see also: Consecration of St. Peter's)