St Michael’s, Amberley, BN18 9ND

St Michael’s is the largest of the four Wildbrooks churches.

St Michael’s serves the parishes of Amberley and  North Stoke. Amberley has belonged to the church from around 670AD, though the building itself dates to around 1100AD.

Worship and music at St Michael’s reflect the traditional and the new. We have an active programme of parish engagement and are always looking for new ways to serve the community as an expression of our Christian faith.

The building is valued as a place of quiet prayer and contemplation. It contains some fine stained glass and a number of medieval wall paintings.

Guides to Amberley Church

There are two online guides to St Michael’s, a detailed Virtual Tour and an Audio Guide, intended to be used by visitors to the church.  Wifi is available within the church.

Amberley vicars

An article on Amberley’s vicars from the 11th century until 1960 may be downloaded here, as a Word file.

The Churchyard

The Churchyard is managed for biodiversity and has more than 150 species of trees, shrubs and wildflowers. In summer, swifts wheel in the sky above and the castle doves line up on the roof of the church!

A Churchyard Trail takes you on a quiet walk around the churchyard, stopping at certain points for prayer or meditation.

Responsibility for the care and maintenance of St Michael’s churchyard rests with the Parochial Church Council. Work is carried out by one paid worker, plus the small church community and other supportive volunteers.

In recent years we have developed a management plan which seeks to balance access to graves which are visited with management of older areas of the graveyard with wildlife in mind.

Please bear in mind that rural churchyards are very different in their nature from public cemeteries and are subject to Diocese of Chichester regulations.


Parish residents, those on the church electoral roll and those dying in the parish all have a legal right of burial here. This right is not restricted to the baptised nor to members of the church community, though any burial service must be Christian. There are set fees for burials, interment of ashes and placing of memorials.

All requests for burial need to come to the priest. As space is very limited we regret that we cannot normally permit burials or interment of ashes other than as above.


Burials in consecrated ground are subject to church law which regulates the type of headstone or other memorial.  This is to ensure that memorials and the character of the churchyard reflect Christian belief about death and life hereafter.  It is also designed to maintain the churchyard as a record of successive generations, an appropriate setting for our historic listed church building and a place for reflection and prayer.

The Diocese of Chichester provides detailed Regulations as to what forms of monument are allowed.

All memorials need permission from the incumbent (priest), who is bound to ensure it complies with the Regulations.  These govern the size, shape and type of stone as well as the wording of inscriptions.  Please contact the priest to discuss this BEFORE proceeding.

The Incumbent has no authority to allow the erection of a memorial which does not comply with these Regulations. There is a real risk that any memorial which does not comply with the Regulations may have to be removed.

For the avoidance of doubt, the following are not permitted:

  1. kerbs, railings, fencing or chippings;
  2. memorials in the shape of vases, hearts, open books;

iii. memorials incorporating photographs or portraits;

  1. the use of ‘pet names’


Although the grave plot itself belongs to the church, any memorial belongs to the heir-at-law of the person commemorated, who carries the duty to maintain it and the legal liability for its safety.

Please note that the Regulations do NOT allow:

Mementoes such as windmills, toys or little animals

Artificial flowers:  except for Christmas or Remembrance wreaths which will be removed after a suitable period of time.

We should appreciate your co-operation as you care for a loved one’s grave.


Please contact the churchwarden or priest for more details or if you have any concerns (



St Mary’s, North Stoke BN18 9LS

Within the Parish of St Michael’s, Amberley, is the Church of St Mary the Virgin, North Stoke. This beautiful small church is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. Occasional services and events are held there and the church is open daily.