St. Swithun's at the Heart of the Community
We are pleased to welcome you to the St. Swithun's Church website.
Free Twice Weekly Guided Tours of the Church
St. Swithun’s, is open to the public throughout the day and everyday.
We also host twice weekly free guided tours for anyone who would like to know more about their parish church.
A church has stood on the site of St. Swithun's for nearly one thousand years.
The tour starts at the High Street entrance at 2.00pm on Mondays and Thursdays during June to the end of August.
The tour reveals Love Stories, Burnings at the stake, Murder as well as great works and an interesting insight into some of its past worshippers.
So come along and enjoy a tour around one of East Grinstead’s iconic landmarks – and learn some fascinating facts to share with your friends.
Everybody is welcome and group tours can be arranged.
Contact John Ellis through the Parish Office on 01342 325026
The Year of the Bible 2017
The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, has announced that 2017 will be the “Year of the Bible” across the Diocese of Chichester. (Listen to Bishop Martin speaking about the Year of Mercy and the Year of the Bible in a Youtube video published here)
Bishop Martin's Letter to parishes can be downloaded here
For reflections download and print your Year of the Bible reading plan details as a bookmarker - here
Throughout the Diocese of Chichester 2017 is to be marked as 'Year of the Bible'. As special events for the year are programmed, they will appear here
Schools and Year of the bible
An exciting Art Competition and other events and activities are being organised by the Education Department to promote the Year of the Bible in our church schools. You can find out more here
Take a look closer look at our church and its history
Click here for a brief guide to the church and its history.
Who was St. Swithun?
St. Swithun's Day falls on the 15th July, a day on which people watch the weather, for tradition says that whatever the weather is like on St. Swithun's Day, it will continue so for the next forty days.
There is a weather-rhyme is well known throughout the British Isles since Elizabethan times.
'St. Swithun's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mair.'
dost = does thou = you nae mair = no more.
Who was St. Swithun?
St. Swithin (or more properly, Swithun) was a Saxon Bishop of Winchester. He was born in the kingdom of Wessex and educated in its capital, Winchester. He was famous for charitable gifts and building churches.
Why do people watch the weather on St. Swithun's day?
A legend says that as the Bishop lay on his deathbed, he asked to be buried out of doors, where he would be trodden on and rained on. For nine years, his wishes were followed, but then, the monks of Winchester attempted to remove his remains to a splendid shrine inside the cathedral on 15 July 971. According to legend there was a heavy rain storm either during the ceremony or on its anniversary.
This led to the old wives' tale (folklore) that if it rains on St Swithun's Day (July 15th), it will rain for the next 40 days in succession, and a fine 15th July will be followed by 40 days of fine weather. copied from projectbritain.com
However, according to the Met Office, this old wives' tale is nothing other than a myth. It has been put to the test on 55 occasions*, when it has been wet on St Swithun's Day and 40 days of rain did not follow. copied from projectbritain.com
* source: the book entitled 'Red Sky At Night'