A CHILDREN’S trail has been launched at a church that attracts visitors from around the world.
The church trail is the second to be organised by Steyning Decorative and Fine Arts Society for the 3bs Parish, covering Upper Beeding, Bramber and Botolphs.
The first was launched at St Peter’s Church, in Upper Beeding, in April, and on Thursday, the second trail made its debut at St Nicholas’ Church in Bramber.
The Rev John Challis said the trail would be put to good use, as the church was often busy with visitors from all over the world.
“We get more visitors here than at St Peter’s,” he explained. “We get a lot of Americans following the trail of William the Conqueror.
“We sometimes open the door at 8.30am and they are waiting, and it goes on like that throughout the day.”
The children’s trails were developed by a group of 12 Upper Beeding Primary School pupils, working with teacher Dani Brown and society vice-chairman Ann Blakelock.
Ethan Hosford, ten, said they had visited the churches to look at their features and artwork, then created questions to help children take a closer look when touring them.
“It was really fun, I really enjoyed it,” he said. “Basically, we just looked at these and thought up some questions on what they were, why they were there and the reason they were made.”
Mr Challis said he admired Dani’s ability to inspire the children and make it happen.
Roger Potter, chairman of Bramber Parish Council, launched the new trail at St Nicholas’ Church.
He said: “I have read through several trails that have been produced and they are fantastic, good detailed stuff with a lot of history in them.”
He said it gave children an introduction to older history and how it related to the present day.
He explained that teaching in schools was more focused on modern history these days but older history was still relevant.
“With the association this church has with William Wilberforce, it is a fascinating introduction in this area,” he added.
Society chairman Penny Hill said the trails were part of a national scheme organised by the National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies (NADFAS), which promotes the arts through education and conservation.
“NADFAS church trails are designed for children to follow around their local church, accompanied by an adult, pointing them towards discovering certain objects, writing, paintings, etc., and encouraging them to extend their interest in all aspects of the world around them,” she added.
The children had designed their own church trails and Mrs Blakelock had worked with them from the start of the project, then produced the finalised official NADFAS versions.