HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE THOSE VILLAGE NAMES?
The first syllable of Plaistow is pronounced as in “plastic” (rather than as in “plaster” or “place”), and Kirdford, unlike Oxford, by Sussex tradition has its “ford” fully pronounced, as if there were two separate words (Kird Ford). Ifold, however, is just pronounced as might be expected (eye-fold).
General parish info
INFORMATION ABOUT OUR PARISH
Though our Church of England parish is officially called the parish of Kirdford, it actually covers not only the civil (local government) parish of Kirdford but also the civil parish of Plaistow & Ifold. Therefore, to avoid confusion and to note the locations of our two churches, this ecclesiastical parish is usually known as the parish of Kirdford with Plaistow. The website header above also mentions Ifold so as to include all three of the main parish settlements. To find out how we pronounce our village names, see the box at the foot of this page.
Where are we?
Our parish is part of the Petworth Deanery in the Diocese of Chichester, and is situated in a rural location in the Weald of West Sussex - click the box below for an interactive map of the parish. Geographically it is the largest ecclesiastical parish in West Sussex, with an area of approximately 25 square miles.
The parish's population of about 3000 mostly live in the three villages of Kirdford, Plaistow & Ifold, though there are also a number of smaller settlements within the Parish boundaries, for example Shillinglee, Durfold Wood, Strood Green and Hawkhurst Court. As measured at the Census, the population's age distribution is similar to the rest of the population of the UK.
The nearest small towns and town-sized villages are Billingshurst, Cranleigh, Haslemere, Petworth and Pulborough. Larger towns in the vicinity are Chichester, Godalming, Guildford, Horsham and Midhurst .
Why two churches?
Because of the large area of the parish, the original medieval church at Kirdford, built in about 1100, was supplemented by a 'Chapel of Ease' at Plaistow to make it easier for people from the northern reaches of the parish to attend church services, and the current Victorian church at Plaistow is built on the site of that original Chapel of Ease.
Despite having two churches and a large geographical area, the parish is a unified whole, with worship being shared between the two churches, and with other Church activities being attended by people from throughout the parish. This sense of unity is reinforced by strong links between our two civil parishes; for example the local primary school in Plaistow takes children from all three villages.
Though we are part of the Church of England, we have a number of links with other Christian organisations in the area. We work together with the local Chapel (a free church based in Kirdford) in areas of common interest. In addition we are a member of Petworth Area Churches Together (PACT), an ecumenical organisation that fosters links between all the major Church denominations in the area and promotes joint activities and worship.
Many of our congregation are also very involved with other village organisations and activities, including a lively ‘Friends of the churches’ organisation that raises money to support the repair and preservation of the fabric of both church buildings, by means of a number of enjoyable annual fundraising events - for more information please click on the link in the navigation bar above.