St Wilfrid’s Chapel

A Famous Saint, a Bishop and a Cathedral

In 681 at Church Norton, a Christian Missionary arrived to convert the pagan Saxons to Christianity. Quite a few Saxons in other parts of England had already become Christians, but most people in Sussex were still pagans at this time. This priest was St Wilfrid, a northerner from Northumberland and a senior member of the Roman Church, who had been exiled from the north after quarrelling with the Northumbrian King.

Wilfrid founded a monastery in Selsey, which is considered to be the same site where St Wilfrid’s Chapel in Church Norton, now stands. He became the first bishop of Selsey and also went on to build a Cathedral in Selsey. You can see a list of the Bishops of Selsey in St Peters, the parish church of Selsey, and also in Chichester Cathedral. Legends say that the Cathedral at Selsey was built on land that is now under the sea. St Wilfrid gives his name to many organisations in the area, including our Hospice.

St Wilfrid's Chapel, Selsey
(Simon Carey, CC BY-SA 2.0)

St Peter's Church, Selsey

Chichester Cathedral St Wilfrid Window (

Chichester Cathedral St Wilfrid Window
(Ealdgyth 2010, CC BY-SA 3.0)