Enjoy rural stalls full of flowers and crafts at Sullington festival

Sullington Flower and Craft Festival SUS-140617-144111001
Sullington Flower and Craft Festival SUS-140617-144111001

The Sullington Flower and Craft Festival 2014 at St Mary’s Church will take place from Friday June 27 until Sunday June 29 from 10am-6pm daily, finishing with a 6.30pm Sunday Evensong with the Bishop of Horsham.

Enjoy this perfect rural festival which, according to one visitor, ‘never fails to delight and amaze and is always a real treat’.

Explore the craft stalls and enjoy homemade refreshments in the newly restored tithe barn – one of the largest in Sussex.

Experience the beauty of this little Downland church adorned with flowers on this year’s theme, ‘On a wing and a prayer’.

St Mary’s Church, Sullington is in the hamlet of Sullington, near the town of Storrington on the South Downs north scarp within the national park.

You will find so much to enjoy at this really busy, happy, community event. So many hours of baking cakes, nurturing seeds, arranging displays, sweeping floors and pouring tea must be a sign of a treat in store!

And there are plenty of interesting rural stalls in the tithe barn including plants, lacemaking and conservation, and - this is the only time in the entire year to find all the skills and crafts of the Chanctonbury Craftsmen on show (and the products on sale!) in one place.

During 2013 almost certain collapse of the tithe barn at Sullington was avoided – just in the nick of time.

Thoughtful, expert and timely work on the roof and timber-frame, grant assisted by Natural England, has saved this magnificent and well-loved building for future generations.

John Russell, one of the UK’s leading timber framers, led the work on the barn to achieve a high quality result from traditional materials and modern techniques which is entirely in keeping with the nature and character of this impressive historic building and has kept its romance, authenticity and atmosphere. John will be at Sullington demonstrating traditional timber skills over the weekend.

Although there is believed to be a date of 1685 on one of the beams of the barn and the current roof construction suggests that it was built around the end of the 17th century there is structural evidence that dates some of the timbers to an early medieval structure and the east porch is definitely of a 15th or 16th century construction.

The barn has been in continual agricultural use until relatively recently but is now available, with the neighbouring holiday cottages, for wedding receptions and other special occasions – but – this is one of very few opportunities for the public to see inside one of Sussex’s great treasures.

Derek Spencer, vicar, says “We welcome you all to our beautiful Church, nestled under the South Downs, to experience for yourselves the amazing colours of God’s Creation through the outstanding array of creative skills and flowers on display. It’s a reminder of the colour, vibrancy and life we can all bring to the world through having been created in the image of God.”

Report and pictures contributed by Gail Kittle.