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Westboune Parish Church building needs your help to maintain this beautiful structure for future generations
The church has stood for centuries at the centre of our village. It is a lovely building, which exists for all in the parish whether they attend church or not and, so that the church may continue to be enjoyed by village generations to come, a Trust was created in 1992 to assist financially with its restoration and repair.
The Westbourne Church Restoration Trust (WCRT) as it is known, is Registered Charity No. 1015673 and it is administered totally separately from, and independent of, other church finances. At its inception, the Trust had around 30 regular donors, many of whom were regular church attenders but other regular donors were/are village folk, who may only visit the church occasionally but who value it nonetheless as part of our heritage, or because they like to walk in the churchyard or sit quietly in the church from time to time, or come in to light a candle in troubled times.
The Trust has made a number of grants since its inception in 1992, the most recent being that of £40,000 towards the £74,000 estimated for repairs to the tower. This has left little in reserve and, with the passage of time, the 30 regular donors now number just seven.
Please could you help to keep the church at the heart of the village for future generations by becoming a donor or perhaps by making a bequest in your Will? As stated above the Trust’s income can only be expended on the restoration /repair of the church fabric. Please help if you can.
If you are able to help and become a donor please contact Alan Wright, Hon Treasurer WCRT, 9 Chantry Hall, Westbourne, Emsworth, PO10 8FG with the following information which can also be copied and pasted and sent by email to Alan Wright
1. *I have set up a standing order electronically for WCRT (sort code: 30-93-97 account 02117369) payable monthly/annually for the amount of £……… on (date)………………
2. *Please send a Banker’s Order for me to complete and return
3. *Please send a Gift Aid form for me to complete and return
4. *Please send me information on how I can make a bequest to the WCRT
(*advise as appropriate)
For all except 1 above, please also add your name and address. Thank you for your support.
How strange our villages would look without our churches. They are part of our ‘Englishness’, having stood for centuries with very little change. As you come down the hill towards Bedhampton and before you cross the A3, and if the sun is shining, you can see our parish church very clearly, nestling against the backdrop of the dark green trees and beyond it in the far distance the windmill at Halnaker.
One marvels that this view (if you forget the gasometers and blocks of flats which this photo has managed to omit) has not changed much since the 14th century.
Names and dates can be found not only on the tombstones in the churchyard and memorial stones in the church but also etched into the wood on the walls in the ringing chamber. So, whether you are Christian or not, the village church is at the heart of our community, linking the present with the past. It is there for those milestone occasions ‘hatches, matches and despatches’. Everyone who lives within the parish bounds has the right, in law, to be married and have their funeral service in the village church. It is also a place of worship and, at other times, it is a place of quiet contemplation, away from the hustle and bustle outside, to which people turn in times of trouble, to light a candle and say a prayer in their own way. It has stood for centuries and we hope it will continue to stand for many more centuries.
But that will not happen without a continuation of the devoted care and attention our church has received over that time, as befits the only Schedule I listed building in the village.
In the last 20 years a lot of money has been spent by the Trust on our church’s repair and conservation, £85,000, and this gives an idea of the on-going cost of keeping our church in good condition. Sometimes a major repair is required, sometimes routine upkeep, but funds need to be readily available.
The Westbourne Church Restoration Trust (Charity Number 1015673) was created in 1992 with as its aim the preservation, repair, maintenance, upkeep and restoration of St John the Baptist Church in Westbourne.
It is administered completely separately from other church accounts and every penny raised goes to preserve the fabric of the church. The Trust’s funds have come from the legacies and donations of those who live within the parish - residents who value, or have valued, the existence of the church at the heart of our community and all that it represents, as well as the many who attend the church from outside the parish.