It was the sale of agricultural land for housing after the First World War that created the community of Winchelsea Beach.
Seeking a place at the sea, some bought plots and built bungalows while others imported old railway carriages. By the 1930s there were enough residents to encourage local Christians to think about creating a place of worship.
Parts of Winchelsea Beach were in Rye Harbour parish and parts in the parish of Pett, and it was Pett that took the initiative, buying a row of lock-up garages in Dogs Hill Road and converting them into a chapel. Art students from Hastings decorated it, embroidery was designed, a bell hung and an altar made from a concrete slab. It was dedicated to the diocesan patron saint, Richard of Chichester, and services began in the summer of 1935.