On his retirement from the East India Company in Madras, Charles Baker built Sennicotts House and formed the parkland.
In 1829 he built the Chapel of St Mary. The vicar of Funtington objected, the Bishop of Chichester was in support, but it was not until 1831 the dispute was settled in London and services commenced.
The building has fine flint work and the original pews and is lit in the church by candlelight. The walls are painted pink because this was the animal blood which coloured the paint.
After the death of Charles Baker, his family, the Teesdales, let the house for most of the next 100 years. Amongst the tenants was Prince Louis of Battenberg, later the first Marguess of Milford Haven, and his wife the grand daughter of Queen Victoria. Prince Louis was in charge of the Royal Yacht in Portsmouth and it was their first home after their honeymoon. Later their baby became Princess Andrew of Greece and the mother of the Duke of Edinburgh.
When the Teesdales sold Sennicotts, the Chapel became, in 1931, a Chapel of Ease to St Mary's Church, Funtington.
Charles Baker had laid down that the vicar of Funtington was never to take services at Sennicotts, so this had to be set aside by the King in Council, before the change could take place.
Captain Geoffrey Bowes-Lyon, a former owner of the Sennicotts House and first cousin of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, is commemorated in the Church and his widow is buried in the Churchyard.
Princess Margaret, sister of the Queen Elizabeth 11 ,visited the Bowes-Lyon's son and his wife while they were living at Sennicotts.
We have a very friendly church with a weekly service and we are always very pleased to see worshipers.