Worship and Services

Sunday Service

The Sunday service at 9.45am with Communion follows the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Readings are from the Authorised Version of the bible (the ‘King James’ bible). And we sing four traditional hymns from the New English Hymnal.

So coming to our small, ancient church is ‘church like it used to be’, joining the many who live in the parish and enjoying the friendly atmosphere and a traditional service that we know and love.

The service is led by Herbert Bennett, our Associate Vicar, or in his absence by Ben Brown, Rector. On occasions, Peter Shears, Lay Reader, leads Morning Prayer without communion. You are very welcome at any of our services, and afterwards you can enjoy tea and coffee and biscuits in Cliffe  Hall right next door.

Our many special events throughout the year are listed in our What’s On Diary.

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer

We rejoice in the beauty, poetry, majesty, and depth of spirituality of the much-loved 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the 1611 Authorised Version of the Bible.

  • The Book of Common Prayer was first introduced by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in 1549, and finalised under an Act of Uniformity in 1662. It is the founding liturgy of the Anglican church.
  • All readings are taken from the King James Bible, the ‘Authorised Version’ published in 1611 under the auspices of King James I.
  • Our Sunday morning service includes traditional hymns from the New English Hymnal.

Jeremy Yeats-Edwards, one of our four organists
Jeremy, one of our four organists.

The Church of England Year

Here are the highlights of the Church of England year. There are services at St Thomas’ on the days MARKED IN BOLD TYPE. Our other Sunday services, every week at 9.45am, are not included here.

Saturday 6th January: Epiphany, the revelation of the Christ child to the wise men, runs until 27th January.

Friday 2nd February: Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

Wednesday 14th February: Ash Wednesday (the day before Lent begins) when we mark ourselves with the sign of the cross in ash to prepare for our Lenten journey from 15th February until Easter.

PALM SUNDAY, 24th MARCH, the start of Holy Week.

MAUNDY THURSDAY, 28TH MARCH 7PM  A said service for the institution of the Last Supper – Holy Communion.

GOOD FRIDAY, 29TH MARCH 9AM  A said service to mark Christ’s crucifixion that led to his resurrection and victory over death and sin, celebrated on Easter Sunday.

Saturday 30th March: Holy Saturday and Easter eve.

EASTER DAY SUNDAY 31st March We celebrate the resurrection of  Christ.

Monday 8th April: Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Thursday 9th May: Ascension Day, when the risen Jesus returns to the Father in Heaven. (There is a large 17th-century painting of the Ascension in the north aisle.)

WHITSUN SUNDAY, 19th MAY Whitsun (or Pentecost) marks the coming of the Holy Ghost.

TRINITY SUNDAY, 26th May when we celebrate the Trinity of God – Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Then begins the long season of Trinity and Ordinary Time in the church’s year.

ST THOMAS’ DAY, SUNDAY 7th JULY We celebrate this day as our own saint’s day, our Patronal Festival.

Friday 1st November: All Saints Day, remembering all those men and women in history who by their holy lives have revealed something of God’s glory.

Saturday 2nd November: All Souls Day, when we remember with thanks all those who have helped us on our journey of faith by their example and their lives.

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY, 10th NOVEMBER – the national service of remembrance reminds us of all those who have served and sacrificed.

END OF TRINITY, SUNDAY 24th NOVEMBER Trinity season finishes, the last Sunday before Advent.

ADVENT BEGINS, SUNDAY 1st DECEMBER – the season when, out of the darkness, God’s redeeming light shines with the promise of the coming Messiah Christ child to be born to Mary at Christmas. Advent Sunday is also the start of a new church year.

CHRISTMAS EVE, Tuesday 24th DECEMBER

CHRISTMAS DAY, Wednesday 25th DECEMBER

See our What’s On page for more information. See also the Church of England’s full Calendar which includes Principal Feasts and other Principal Holy Days, and Festivals.

Orthodox Worship

We are delighted that the congregation of the Orthodox Parish of the Nativity of Christ also meet and worship in our church. Their parish is part of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, belonging to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Eastern Orthodox Church. To find out about their services visit the Orthodox Church website.

St Thomas à Becket, Cliffe High Street, Lewes

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer

Read what the Prayer Book Society says about the Book of Common Prayer