Welcome to St. Faith’s Church
For an inside tour, street view and photographs – click here
This guide can be found on the table at the North Entrance to the church to assist the visitor
A church has stood on this site for over 900 years. The dedication to St Faith has existed since the eleventh century. The building stands at the ancient East West Crossing of the Portchester to Chichester Roads and the North West crossing leading to Langstone and Hayling Island. It is possible that the site was a halting station for Roman troops.
SOME POINTS OF INTEREST AROUND THE CHURCH
1. This large flag or ‘colour’ was presented to the Loyal Havant Volunteers in 1799 by the then Rector of St Faith’s. The Troop was raised from local men to help protect the English Coast against French invasion. The flag is made of blue silk and is very fragile. The symbols on it are painted, not embroidered
2. The statue of St Faith of Aquitaine stands in a blocked up doorway which once led to the tower. During the time of the Roman Emperor Diocletian (AD 290), St Faith a young girl who lived in Agen in France. She refused to worship the Roman heathen gods and was put to death on a burning gridiron by the order of Dacian, the Roman Governor of Spain.
3.This is the oldest undisturbed part of the building. It was constructed in the early thirteenth century. Originally it was lit by the lancet windows in the North and South of each wall. The North East one still survives.
4. The pillars supporting the tower rest on a foundation of Roman tiles and cement. The upper blocked doorway near the chancel arch was once the entrance to a flight of steps leading to another doorway which would have led to the rood screen.
5. The Lady Chapel. This was donated by Captain Boyd Richardson as a memorial to his mother. It was dedicated by the Bishop of Salisbury in 1936. The design is by Sir Charles Nicholson.
6. The font was given in memory of George Robert Mountain, Rector of Havant from 1825 – 1846, whose father had been the Bishop of Quebec. In his time as Rector, the tower was repaired, the church re-pewed, the nave rebuilt and an organ purchased. He established clothing clubs for the poor, increased the weekly services and oversaw the building of the parish and infant schools. The money for the font was raised by parishioners. Note the stone set into the wall by the west door. It was discovered in the nineteenth century and thought possibly to be a part of the original Saxon font.
7. This window is in memory of HMS Havant, a destroyer which helped in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk in 1940. She rescued over 1,500 troops but was sunk on her last sortie. 1 officer and 5 ratings were killed, 25 wounded as were 25 of the troops she was carrying. A memorial service is held every year in memory of this event.
8. The glass used for this window incorporates both modern and traditional methods. The Church and Church House were photographed, scanned on computer and then etched, shot blasted on to the glass and then fired at a very high temperature. The window commemorates Robert George Grant, (1912 -1994), a local chartered surveyor who, as chairman of the Church’s Fabric Committee, spent a considerable time arranging and instructing repairs to church properties.
The window was designed to encompass aspects of his work for the buildings and as a surveyor. In addition to the buildings, the red striped staff signifies the Fellowship of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors as their symbol and at the bottom of the window are a ruler (scale) and tape measure, being the tools of the trade.
The window has been put together with the traditional method of leading with copper ties and glazing bars and faced externally with modern polycarbonate glass to resist vandalism.
The window was designed and manufactured by Venessa Cutler, a local designer and stained glass artist who was a lecturer (in 1999) at Wolverhampton University, which is recognised as one of the leading universities in glass design and technology.
Researched by Peter Elmes, Pam Moore and Phyllida Acworth. Compiled by Hilary Deadman
CHURCH ROOF – WEATHERVANE
The weathervane was restored by “Tarrant Specialist Earthing Ltd” in August 2016
For details of the clock and clock faces click here