The Lord of the manor appointed the priest - at different times this was solely in the hands of the Abbey but at other times it became the gift of Royal patronage.
The parish priests of St Nicholas are likely to have been commoners but not from the lowest ranks. The Kellet and Morland families are examples of the local landowning families providing sons for the church.
The church was a centre of education. Chertsey Abbey would have recruited from its manors in its possession and many boys from peasant families advanced at least to the lowest ranks of the clergy, which required the ability to read latin.