St. Peter’s,  Terwick

This simple church stands alone among fields and woodland, against the distant background of the South Downs. It has an atmosphere of rare tranquillity.   Outside the west door of the church is a cross dating from early Norman times. Christians probably gathered here for worship before the church was built in about 1140.   There has never been a village of Terwick as the soil near the church is poor; in fact the name ‘Terwick’ may mean ‘rubbish (turd) farm’. In 1646 there were only five houses in the parish but they may have been substantial households. Perhaps the church served drovers and other travellers as well as the permanent parishioners.    The Rev. George Laycock (like his predecessor, Rev. W.S. Richards) was Rector of Terwick for over 40 years until his death in 1933. He lived in the beautiful nearby rectory, which was bigger than his church and the minimal parish duties left him plenty of time for other interests. Both Laycock and Richards are buried in the churchyard. They could never have anticipated how different life would be for their successors.