For our first meeting in 2015 we welcomed Dr Robert Hutchinson, a church archaeologist, who talked to us about the work of the Churches Conservation Trust in Sussex. He explained that the CCT is a registered charity established in 1969 by Parliament and the Church of England to look after the most important historic churches no longer needed for regular worship. CCT carry out between 40 to 80 repair and maintenance projects a year and have saved over 340 churches, 7 of which are in West Sussex. St Botolph’s Church stands on a slight rise above the river Adur and although today it appears almost isolated, 700 years ago it was at the heart of a busy port. Since Tudor times the church has served a tiny farming community. The parish united with Bramber in 1526.
Members then received a presentation by Julie Toben and architect Leeza Aldis-Hobbs on proposals for the new facility for WADARS at Hangleton Lane. Julie and Leeza explained that their plans were at a very early stage but they were keen to secure the support of our Conservation Group as their plans develop.
Ed Miller updated the meeting on planning issues although there were no developments on the issue of the Northern and Southern Gaps.
Eileen Godfrey announced that South Downs Film Makers were planning to make a film this year to commemorate the 1250th anniversary of a settlement in Ferring.
The meeting was concluded by news of wildlife sightings and dates for our diaries.