The Church Building
A Christian chapel was established in Frant nearly one thousand years ago (in 1087) as a dependency of Rotherfield. The chapel was probably a timber structure into the late 12th
or early 13th
century, when a stone building gradually replaced it. A north aisle was added in the 15th
We do not perhaps consider what an enormous effort it was for a small, poor parish to build their own church; work often had to stop for years at a time. It is unlikely that Frant could have afforded much professional help, and the church seems to have been slightly ramshackle as a result.
Bills for repairs (so what’s new!) increased throughout the 18th
century and when a boy was killed in 1819 ‘by a stone falling from the old tower’ it was decided that nearly everything would be pulled down and rebuilt ‘because it is in such a ruinous state’.
The major work was completed in 1822, with extensions being added in the 1860s. The stump of the old tower was re-encased in stone and it remains the oldest part of the building. Unfortunately only fragments stained glass remain, after a flying bomb landed nearby in 1944.
Today we worship in a church that looks magnificent, and that is served by a very fine 1,626 pipe Gern organ. Together with a tranquil and well-kept churchyard, St Alban’s Church is a much loved part of the local community.