Normally all services are as follows;
(all weekly services start at 9-45am)
1st Sunday - Family worship. An informal service for all ages.
2nd Sunday - Holy Communion (said) (BCP)
3rd Sunday - Morning Prayer
4th Sunday - Holy Communion (Common Worship)
On the 5th Sunday, there is a Benifice service of Holy Communion held, in turn, in each of the churches in the Benifice.
Friston church is open daily from 9am until 5pm
The Church in its Rural Environment
Friston has always been a rural environment with its businesses serving the community employed primarily in agriculture.
The Church physically dominates the village, standing on a hill overlooking the village green, and whilst in line with local trends, those employed locally have declined, and there are a high number of holiday and weekend homes, it provides a quiet spiritual haven for the community and offers a reassuring presence.
The Church stands in its churchyard with a farm to the east, a road to the north, the village hall and housing to the west and open land to the south.
The Church retains the charm and simplicity of a building built and supported by a small Christian community. The many memorials within the Church and the Churchyard form a lasting microcosm of the history of the community.
The Church Building
It comprises an unusual western square Tower, a Nave and Chancel, now under one roof, and a South Porch. The Chancel ceiling and walls have painted decoration, assumed to be 19th century but not mentioned by either Pevsner or Munro Cautley.
The surprising West Tower can only be the result of various restorations, especially that of 1899-1900, although Cautley believes its odd 14th century motifs to be possibly original. Nave and Chancel in one. Nothing of interest except the S doorway, which is transitional with its one order of shafts and its sharply pointed arch with two slight chamfers. The pulpit is Jacobean and the Royal Arms - James I - is a spectacular piece of wood carving, well reassembled by Cautley.
H Munro Cautley (5th edition 1982)
The 14th century Western Tower has niches in the upper stages of the angle buttresses and three more high up on the western face. Probably all of these are original but a very dubious restoration of this Tower and parapet took place 40 years ago. The 12th century south door has engaged columns to jambs and consecration crosses. The font is modern bur the base is old and looks as if it might be the old bowl upside down. A simple arch-braced Nave roof, Stuart pulpit and holy table. The features of this Church are the magnificent set of James I arms, carved in wood nearly 5” thick and the interesting old 16th century Bible binding, embellished with brass work.
Remains of 11th century structure in north wall; some 12th century work; main body of the Church 14th and 15th century; post-Reformation additions of several dates, detailed below; restorations and redecorations of the late 19th and early 20th century concentrated at the west and east ends respectively. Flint with cement rendering; brick porch and buttresses; roof of tile with lower verge of slate. Chancel of three irregularly spaced bays; Nave of seven bays; West Tower of three stages with broad, setback angle buttresses; west organ loft of wood. The Chancel is not set off from the Nave by an arch, being demarcated by a single step to the choir area; this level change as well as the painted decorations in the Chancel date to 1913 and are, according to a brass fixed to the single lancet in the south side of the Chancel, a memorial to Emily Sophia Hills; the timber framing to the roof appears to date from this refurbishment. Chancel with three-light window, curvilinear tracery is late 19th century and is filled with memorial glass dated 1895. Arched timber principals to the Nave, the area above the collar plastered, like the underside of the roof; wall plate moulded. The mouldings on the roof suggest a late 15th century date; there is also some suggestion that the timbers may have been re-used from another structure, perhaps in the late medieval period. Pair of two-light 15th century styled windows to north wall of Nave; lancet with ‘Y' tracery on the line between Chancel and Nave to south; two-light perpendicular window to side of entrance porch and two-light decorated window to the other side. Entrance to south of the Nave dates to the 12th century. Segmented pointed arch to the Tower. Interior fixtures and fittings include: benches to Nave of mid to late 19th century; choir stalls of same date partly removed; octagonal font at west end, centre of aisle; sacrarium enclosed by a wood and metal rail and elevated; painted wood Reredos dating to early 20th century. Fine wood coat of arms of James I to the north Nave wall; early 17th century pulpit mounted on a 19th or 20th century base, may perhaps be a married piece; holy table by main door; in 1988 new window installed by Mrs Vernon Wentworth of the Blackheath Mansion, Friston. Excavations in 1983 and 1988 have revealed two new features of note: in the north Nave wall a round-arched door evidently of 11th century date; to the east of the south door a staircase dating probably to the 14th century. No evidence for the latter visible from outside or from within; the former left exposed but blocked. Exterior features of note: South Porch of brick with wood top stage, an unusual feature; two-light bell louvres to each of remaining top stages of Tower. The Nave is noteworthy for having been very little restored in the 19th century.
Around the Church the burial ground has been in use for hundreds of years, and the memorials give an interesting picture of village history. Among the notable memorials are the three headstones of members of the Bowater family, all of whom had been Lord Mayors of London. There is a line of tombstones of Hamblings and Hammonds, tenants of Friston Hall in the 19th century. Because of its prominence every effort is expended in trying to maintain the churchyard, with areas dedicated to sustaining local flora and wildlife.