Laurence was one of seven deacons in the city of Rome who were martyred by the Roman Emperor Valerian in 258. As a deacon, he was responsible for the material goods of the church and for distributing alms to the poor. When he was brought to trial the treasures of the church were demanded of him by a Roman Prefect. Ambrose of Milan recalls that, in response, he brought forward the poor with these words: 'Behold in these poor persons the treasures which I promised to show you'. The Prefect was so angry that he burned Laurence to death on a gridiron!
St Laurence is a parish church within the united benefice of Stanmer with Falmer, a union that was created in 1835.
There has been a church on this site since the 12c, as recorded in the Doomsday book. However, the present building dates from 1817, when its foundation stone was laid by Lord Pelham.
The church has always been known as 'Stanmer Church' and has no dedication. it was closed by the Diocese in 2008 and is no longer available for public worship. The background to the formation of the united benefice with Falmer can be read about here. And a history of the church can be found here. The work of the Stanmer Preservation Society (SPS), which presently helps care for the closed building is available on their Facebook page.