St Matthias Church, Ditchling Road, Fiveways

About us
Saint Matthias church is part of the Church of England diocese of Chichester serving the families and residents of Brighton Fiveways area and others from further afield.
We are a Eucharist based church which can be best described as "liberal catholic".  The Church PCC fully support women's ordained ministry.  Since 1995 the church has been arranged to conduct Services "in the round" with a central portable Altar which is popular with communicants.
St. Matthias is a family church where all ages join together for worship.  We have an active children's church, which meet every Sunday during school term. 
A separate Children's Praise service is held each month in the church hall.  Many other church groups are active, enquire above for further details.
The church hall is available for private hire as well as hosting many community groups.  Telephone or e-mail for bookings or reservation enquiries.
Church Fabric
St Matthias was consecrated on 11th January 1912 although there has been a church on the site since 1901.  Building commenced on the current church in 1907 by Lacy W. Ridge in the style of Early English Gothic Revival with a circular tower, short spire and hammerbeam roof.  The roof is a magnificent example of timber and wrought iron work - similar in construction to Westminster Hall.
Ordained ministry.
Since November 2013 and the retirement of Reverend Eric Pollard, St Matthias Church has been without a designated priest, being in a period of 'interregnum' whilst a new priest is appointed.  We are currently supported for Sunday Eucharist by celebrant priests generously provided by neighbouring churches.
Lay involvement in the church
We have a Diocesan Lay Reader who performs the role of Liturgical Deacon, a Sacristan/Verger, three lay Servers, six lay Assistants, a team who read at Services, a team who intercess and a team of sides persons.  Our congregation includes four pianists, two of whom also play the organ. We have a team of flower arrangers and two lay Deanery Synod representatives.  There are no regular church cleaners or gardeners. The church is cleaned and the garden is maintained by a series of parish workdays throughout the year. Heavy or specialised garden work such as the pruning and removal of trees is undertaken by paid professionals as and when the need arises.
Church property
The church annex building, accessible from Ditchling Road is a fully equipped nursery currently leased by established pre-school ‘my first word grows up'  The St. Matthias Snooker Club has premises adjacent to the nursery for use of club members only. 
The church is a split-level building and the hall is situated under the church, its entrance facing Hollingbury Park Avenue. The hall has long since provided a valued community resource and it remains in daily use. In addition to the hall itself, facilities include a kitchen, toilets and a staged area.
Children's church meet in the hall every Sunday and it is used for church functions such as the summer Fair, the Christmas Market and Mother's Union meetings.  A Mother and Toddlers' group meet weekly organised by local volunteers.
Many community groups meet in the hall on a regular basis including Rainbows, Brownies, Girl Guides, Zumba, Fitness, a Drama Group, Hollingbury Park Avenue Residents Association, Pregnancy Yoga and the Police Local Action Team.  The hall is also a popular venue for private children's' parties at weekends on a regular basis.
Church groups and activities: 
Mothers Union:  There is a branch of the Mother's Union who meet monthly and are an active part of church life.  The MU welcomes new members.
Children's church: Active every Sunday during school term time.  Meeting at the gathering of the main 9:45am service, Children's Church proceed to the church hall for ‘Sunday school' for Bible based teaching on the liturgical theme for the day/season, games, songs and art and craft activities.   Typically, on the fourth Sunday of the month Children's Church have a stand-alone ‘Children's Praise' service at 10am in the church hall.  This simple service allows young children and their parents to worship in a relaxed setting.  The Children's Church Nativity service at 4pm on Christmas Eve typically attracts 350 to 400 adults and children from the local area. 
European tours
Since 2002, 30 tours have been organised and enthusiastically supported by our church members, members of other churches in the area and friends from further afield. Tours have included trips to Paris, Amsterdam. Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Ypres, the St Matthias Basilica in Trier, Germany, Luxembourg, the Boppard Wine Festival in Germany, an eight day holiday which  included the Oberammergau Passion Play in 2010, an eight day holiday to Pil in the Austrian Alps in 2013, twelve trips to the Bonn Christmas Market and one to Dusseldorf. A further trip to the Bonn Christmas Market is planned for 2014. These trips are as popular as ever with all age groups. The tours always include a Eucharist celebrated in whatever hotel we happen to be in on a Sunday morning which is always well attended by most people on the tour.
Bible study prayer groups and Lent groups
A Bible Study Prayer Group co-ordinated and hosted by the Lay Reader meets monthly throughout the year at his home address. During Lent ecumenical weekly groups meet in various houses to study the Lent York Courses. These groups are led by both lay and ordained people.  
Support of charities
We currently regularly support the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), The Children's Society, Christian Aid, Fair Trade, a local Food Bank and The Clock Tower Sanctuary for homeless young people in the city. 
Fund raising
A variety of fundraising events are essential to contribute to church ministry and running costs.  These include: Coffee Mornings, Summer and Christmas Fairs and concerts.  We appreciate your support at our fundraising events.  We encourage church members and friends of St Matthias to make regular contributions via bank transfer, allowing the Church, charity under Act of Parliament, to claim gift aid on charitable donations. 
Affiliation to local churches
We are a member of the North Brighton Group Ministry along with four other Church of England Churches: St. John's, Preston, The Church of The Good Shepherd, Dyke Road, All Saints, Patcham and St Lukes, Prestonville.
We are also members of Churches Together in Preston comprising of St. John's Preston, The Church of The Good Shepherd, Dyke Road, Stanford Avenue Methodist church, St Mary's Roman Catholic church, Surrenden Road.  We join together for meetings, quiet days and the annual walk of witness on Good Friday morning.  We enjoy good relationships with them all.