Old photos on display to raise cash for St Mary’s Church roof repairs

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A display of old pictures will be used to help fund repairs to an equally old church roof.

Leaks in the roof of the Grade I listed St Mary’s Church, in Pulborough, have caused damage to the interior of the building as well as the church organ and will cost £100,000 to repair.

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As part of the fundraising effort, Andy Leese will be showing a display of nearly 200 pictures of the people and places in historic Pulborough at the village hall.

The display will be held on Saturday (October 24) at 7.30pm and tickets cost £10, which includes a Sussex Ploughman’s supper.

Andy said: “It is a great privilege to be able to show these pictures of Pulborough, many of which have never been seen in public before as they come from private collections.”

Tickets are available from Comyn & James, Estate agents in Lower Street Pulborough or from Anne Kaiser on 01798-872819 or Alyson Heath on 01798-873795.

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Bill Bewley, who is in charge of fundraising for the repairs said: “The £100,000 required for the repairs is a vast amount of money, particularly in this period of austerity, but I am working hard making applications for grants from charities such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, Sussex historic Churches Trust and Churchcare UK, but at best I guess this will raise only half the required money and none of it will be available until next April!

“ The rest of the money needed is down to the generosity of the people of Pulborough and events such as this wonderful evening”.

Peter Gregory, the building manager for St Mary’s Church, said “I realise that raising this large amount of money is a huge task and that it will take time – in the short term we have put in some temporary repairs that our architect believes will stop any more water getting in and causing further damage. In the mean time the pipe organ is out of action and we have to rely on the gift of a small electronic organ which is not ideal for the organ events that we often use for fund raising – this event in the Village should be really interesting and is a welcome contribution to making the repairs possible”.

Fr Paul Welch, the Rector of St Mary’s said “I am really grateful to all the local people who are putting in their time to help keep this historic church open to everybody for worship, village events, weddings and baptisms as well as funerals; many people don’t realise that maintaining the church building is the total responsibility of the Pulborough Parish and nobody else! In addition to raising much needed funds this Historic Picture event will be most interesting and I am looking forward to seeing pictures and hearing stories of old Pulborough that will be new to me.”

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