St Cuthman's Whitehawk Social Impact
St Cuthman’s Church was built in the 1930s to meet the spiritual needs of the people who were being moved from inadequate housing onto the Whitehawk estate. It was known as the Children’s Church as local children saved pennies towards the rebuilding costs.
When the longstanding Vicar of St Cuthman’s retired in 2010, there was an interregnum period where the diocese evaluated its future of the parish. St Cuthman’s traditionally hadn’t paid its diocesan contribution. In 2012 the then Church Warden and Non-Stipendiary Minister met with the vicar at St Peter’s Brighton to explore how a partnership/plant could work.
After a period of discussion between the parish, the diocese and St Peter’s, a church plant was agreed and began in Nov 2013.
Areas of Whitehawk are the least well-off (ITV News, 2015).
Whitehawk is an estate stigmatised and looked down on by the surrounding area. Yet the local residents are deeply proud of their community.
The church is located at the heart of the community adjacent to an open public space. It stands on the major bus route going up the hill. This strategic location provides prominence within the community. Over 60% of children attending the local primary school walk past the church to and from school. This has enabled successful community events in and outside the church to build relationships with the community.