Lullington Church of the Good Shepherd - Atlas Obscura

Lullington Church of the Good Shepherd

Lullington, England

This tiny church is one of England's smallest. 

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Nestled among England’s picturesque South Downs, this tiny church is one of the country’s smallest. Measuring just 16 feet square, the Church of the Good Shepherd, also known as Lullington Church, can accommodate a congregation of only about 20 people. Interestingly, the church was once the chancel of a larger church destroyed in a 17th-century fire. 

The original church is believed to date back to the 12th century. However, after much of Lullington’s population succumbed to the Black Death in the 14th century, the village was reduced to only a handful of families. During the English Civil War, 300 years later, Oliver Cromwell’s troops set fire to the church, leaving only the chancel intact, which still stands today.

According to local folklore, after the church was restored for use in 1893, a visiting clergyman preached to a congregation of 12 people at the church. In recognition of the church’s small size, he spoke on John 11:35, the shortest verse in most English translations of the Bible: “Jesus wept.”

After the sermon, the collection gathered, mustering a minuscule 6 pence, leading the vicar to remark that it must be the smallest church, the smallest congregation, the shortest text, and the smallest collection there ever was.

Know Before You Go

It's best to park in Alfriston and follow the Cuckmere Pilgrim Path for 25 minutes to Lullington and the church.

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