St Andrew’s 60-year celebration

Andrew Selwood
Andrew Selwood

Worshippers at St Andrew’s United Reformed Church enjoyed a double celebration, marking Pentecost and the first 60 years of the church.

St Andrew’s began its life with a first service in the village’s scout hut but within four years it had become established in its permanent home in Holmes Lane, Rustington.

The church was beautifully decorated for its special anniversary by Mary Helyar and her helpers. The main flower display was in pure white with red cloth leading to a cluster of coloured posies representing love, kindness, gentleness, patience, faithfulness, peace, goodness, joy and self-control.

Representatives from Churches Together in Rustington and also from the United Reformed Churches in the area joined the regular congregation for a special Sunday service.

The Revered Andrew Sellwood reflected on past years, looking back to the time when local people had the vision to plant a church here, even though most of them had never met. He looked forward to the 100th anniversary of the church when he might be invited back to dream of the future.

A three course lunch for 52 people was laid on by Evelyn McNaught and her helpers. This was followed an afternoon quiz reminiscing about daily life - then came tea and the cutting of the splendid anniversary cake.

The church’s history was well recorded in an exhibition staged by Margaret and Harry Clark including pictorial records of the Pilots, the young people’s group, the Lady Singers who performed for 35 years and the previous ten year services of celebration. Members and guests were invited to leave their comments on the way forward – what should the church be doing and how could you help? The exhibition will be seen in the future in the Rustington Museum.

Paul Darton, an Elder of the Church, had designed and printed postcards which were distributed as mementoes of a very special occasion.

The day of celebration ended with Songs of Praise, Joy and Thanksgiving – with a crowded church. The final hymn described the general feeling: ‘You shall go out with Joy’.

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