ARUNDEL Baptist Church may not be set on a hill, except near the foot of Torton Hill, but it has marked its place in the history of Arundel.
Continuing the long record of non-conformity in Arundel, this once swampy, rubbish littered site, which, at the dedication of the building, Lavinia, the Duchess of Norfolk jokingly said would probably sink into the mud, has seen tent missions run by the Sussex Evangelist – David Illiffe; a permanent Place of Worship for over 30 years and now expanding to accommodate the 21st century approach to taking the love of Jesus Christ into the community.
We were among the five who joined the ’seven members who met for seven years’ (a Biblical number?) in Arthur and Mildred Slaters home in Torton Hill.
The group, all being older, welcomed us with our two young children and started looking forward eagerly to the possibility of seeing their dreams realized in the new building.
As one of the original Trustees my husband remembers the many hours working with Stan Edwards on the practical work of the church, building cupboards and notice boards, fixing speakers for the PA system and the like.
The first appointed pastor was Jack Cargill who moved things forward and we have happy memories of the cream teas in Stan and Dots lovely garden in Fitzalan Road for a Gift Day which would often bring in well over a thousand pounds for the work of the church and missions abroad.
He was followed by Philip Tout who, as Steve was a fireman, always stopped the service when the engine passed the church, and prayed for the men and any victims of the incident they were attending.
We wish the church many happy years in their new phase, and would encourage all to visit this people friendly place.
God is as much at work there as in the stone tabernacles on the high ground!
Steve and Marian Ayres,
Whiteways Close, Littlehampton