Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert visited the Warminghurst Church Christmas Tree Festival on Friday December 11 to meet some of the children who have decorated trees for the display.
The MP was visiting on the first day of the three-day event which attracts hundreds of visitors to the 13th Century Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Donations collected during the festival will help to fund the roof repairs the church urgently needs.
Mr Herbert met Rachel Webster who is the Church keyholder and Chairman of the Friends of Warminghurst Church. Rachel introduced the MP to pupils from Thakeham First School and 1st Sullington & Storrington Scouts who had decorated trees.
All of the trees this year have been sponsored and decorated by local groups and businesses. Tooveys Auctioneers sponsored the schools’ trees.
The Grade 1 listed church roof is in need of repair to prevent damage to the historical beams and interior. Work on the roof will begin in Spring of next year.
The Friends of Warminghurst Church, who are all volunteers, raise money with events throughout the year. At the Christmas Tree Festival they sold refreshments, crafts, tombola and raffle tickets to help boost the fundraising.
Rachel Webster said: “We were delighted to welcome back Nick Herbert to the Christmas Tree Festival. His interest and support has been hugely appreciated.
“The Friends of Warminghurst Church continue to raise money for the church roof.
“We had a heart stopping moment just a few weeks ago when some internal plasterwork fell down, and we were worried that the event would not be able to take place. We were pleased that it was declared safe, so that we could welcome our visitors to this lovely festival.”
Nick Herbert said: “I enjoyed returning to Warminghurst Church to see the wonderful Christmas trees and meet some of the children who were involved with the display.
“The church has a wonderful history and it is thanks to the volunteers and Friends that it continues to be able to open its doors to visitors.”
Report and pictures contributed by The Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP.