The sunny Sunday of May 8 saw an unusually large gathering at the little Anglo-Saxon church of St Botolph’s at Hardham near Pulborough.
The occasion was the launch of a support group called The Stewards of St Botolph’s whose aim is to build up funds for future maintenance of the church fabric.
Speaker, Roger Rosewell, author of ‘Medieval Wall-paintings’ told the audience that the church is unique in possessing a complete set of Romanesque late 11th/ early 12th century frescos, featuring such a variety of subjects as the Fall of Adam and Eve, the exploits of St George and the birth and infancy of Christ.
Historic England, formerly English Heritage, have stated that the wall frescos are of international importance.
Church warden Christopher Esdaile said: “We knew we had a treasure in our care but we didn’t realize quite what a rare wonder we have. It is vital that we do all we can to ensure the best conditions for the preservation of these paintings.’
There to support the event was one of the patrons of the Stewards, The Right Honourable Nick Herbert MP. Also giving his full support as the other patron of the Stewards was Sir Brian Barttelot Bt OBE DL of Stopham.
After the talk, tea and sparkling wine were served at the neighboring home of Mr and Mrs Hugo Merison.