How it all began
In the year 595, St Gregory, who had seen the fair-complexioned slaves in the Roman market place, sent a mission under St Augustine to this island, exclaiming:
They are not Angles, but Angels!
The South Saxons were converted towards the end of the seventh century, mainly through the exertions of St Wilfrid, who became first Bishop of Selsey in 681.
In due course a church was built in honour of St John, and thus we arrive at a point where statements are supported by more than presumptive evidence.
Very little of Saxon workmanship has survived in Lewes, although it is quite probable that other churches besides St John’s may have been of Saxon foundation. …The first St John’s Church, the site of which is to the north of the present one, stood in the centre of an encampment of great strength although not considerable in size.