I gave a brief update last month about meeting the challenge as regards upkeep of the grounds, and also the opportunities for creative use and income generation. We are already planning the 2023 Open Day & Craft Fair, which takes place across the site in the Hall, the Car Park and the Community Garden. Next year’s event date is set for Saturday 20th May.
We are also always looking for additional ways to make best use of the grounds, including our safe off road parking facilities.
You may have noticed that we have leased four parking spaces to a local company, which helps to take some of the pressure of local streets. We have also favourably considered a number of requests for ‘one-off’ parking for local residents’ family events, by prior arrangement and with a donation always welcome. Outside of this, there is daily oversight of the car park, which remains a private facility. Vehicles that we cannot account for are issued with a reminder to this effect.
Sadly, Twisted Toppings Pizza have not been able to make Buxted a viable outlet and I for one am missing my fortnightly Wednesday pizza treat. Hopefully they will give it another go at some stage. Harry from Field & Flame continues with us on alternate Thursdays, with menus and booking mainly via social media.
The Upper Churchyard has been ‘wilded’ for a couple of years now, with a mown path up to the Community Garden. If funds allow, our plan is to return to having the area strimmed once again each Autumn. Although we have a mowing contractor for the site (who does an excellent job) raking and tidying is a constant battle. Most of the graves in the Upper Churchyard date from the early years of the 20th century, often with no-one surviving to tend them. Some of our congregation continue to do regular work, and we will next year be putting out an appeal to anyone living locally who might be able to spare a few hours to join a working party. Strimmer owners particularly welcome!
In the meantime, our weekly pattern of worship continues and we have been pleased to welcome some new residents to the village at our Sunday Mass, which remains at 11.15, with refreshments and fellowship afterwards.