News from St Mary’s – July 2023

As I write this we have just taken down the large Open Day vinyl banner which lists and thanks the sponsors and supporters from the local business community. The banner is displayed in the Top Field marquee during the event itself and for a couple of weeks afterwards at the front of the church. Some businesses gave cash donations, others sponsored prizes in the raffle. Many people commented on the quality of the raffle prizes, most of which had a common Sussex theme.

It was very encouraging to see how much the event has been taken up by the crafting community, with several new exhibitors this year. These were combined with village organisations, notably the WI and the Horticultural Society.

This year we had a different approach to music making, and showcased three local musicians playing short sets in the big marquee. Mark Broad is moving northwards from Sussex very soon, and we are glad he managed to fit us in amidst all of his house moving preparations. Also thanks to keyboard ace Simon Mellor and his talented daughter Hermoine, and to guitarist and vocalist Simon Joslin (Buxted based but with roots in Nashville).

As always, a big thank you to the Trustees and volunteers at the Claude Jessett Trust (Tinker’s Park). Again we had a steam engine from their collection, and also the steam miniature railway and fairground organ. All of which go towards making it a special day with a strong ‘heritage’ feel. Also thanks to them for all of the ‘hands-on’ work with setting up the site, where much heavy equipment has to be lugged up the path to the Top Field

It was very encouraging to see such a range of different ages and groupings at the event, relaxing in the sunshine. Our event stewards received so many appreciative comments. A couple of parents commented, half jokingly but perhaps half seriously, how they valued getting their children away from the clutches of tablets and smart phones. Miniature train rides, bouncy castles and ‘Splat the Rat’ are much more fun!

Last but not least, the fund raising. All monies raised go towards the upkeep of the three churches in the parish, and their grounds. It also helps us to keep up our contribution to the Diocese of Chichester, which funds community projects across East and West Sussex. 

The final net profit from the event was £2,475.   

Keith Revoir

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