A focal point of the Lower Beeding Community since the 19th century, a small village church is this year celebrating a major milestone.
After an impressive innings, Holy Trinity Church, Lower Beeding marks its 175 years of service this October with a weekend of special events.
But how has the church reached this landmark age?
It was back in the 1838 that a private Act of Parliament was approved for the ‘erection and endowment of a chapelry for the District of Lower Beeding in the County of Sussex’. Up until this point, the inhabitants of the Lower Beeding had a long trip to worship at their Parish Church in Upper Beeding.
There is often geographical confusion with regard to Upper Beeding, as it is in fact situated further south than Lower Beeding. Upper Beeding was more of an established settlement and this is where the ‘Upper’ comes from, with reference to status. Lower Beeding was originally referred to as Nether Beeding and was an area where livestock grazed and this is why ‘Lower’ was adopted in the name.
Two years after being built, the ‘Parish Church on Plummers Plain, Lower Beeding was dedicated to the Holy Trinity and consecrated’.
Incredibly, the cost of the church’s construction was a mere £550 (as cited in the Act of Parliament). In reality it is highly likely that it cost more than this.
In 1862, at the expense of William Egerton Hubbard of Leonardslee, two side aisles were added to Lower Beeding. Holy Trinity was then in the care of Perpetual Curate until 1866, when Rev James Hare Masters became the first vicar of the Parish.
And in 1885 the building was completed when a bell tower was constructed and 130 years down the line, the bells are still actively rung twice a week.
And so after 175 years, the church reaches this momentous milestone and on the weekend of October 3 and 4, the harvest themed festivities take place.
On Saturday October 3, the church will host a Folk Jazz Concert, beginning at 7pm.
There will be a special family harvest service on Sunday the 4th at 10am, with the cooking of local produce.
Over the whole weekend there will be lots more on offer, including: beautifully decorated church and the history of its 175 years in the community of Lower Beeding, refreshments available all weekend, art demonstration and leatherworking, beekeeping, wildlife and livestock, new and vintage agricultural machinery and churchyard trail.
For more information on this weekend and to get involved in the celebrations, please contact Rev. Mark Betson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Report and picture contributed by Mandy Wicking.