The Parish Church and the Midhurst Community
Midhurst Parish Church has played a central role in the life of Midhurst for more than 800 years, bringing church and community together. As a Listed Building it has a dominant presence in the Market Square Conservation Area that is so attractive to tourists and residents alike.
The church’s civic role continues to be increasingly important through the Remembrance Sunday service and other events like carols for Midhurst’s Street Party and our Easter and Christmas services. The Madhurst summer festival was founded by our previous vicar and we continue our active support and participation in many of the events.
The running cost of the building and supporting a parish priest is around £70,000 p.a. and these costs are funded entirely by our small, but growing, congregation, without any outside support.
In addition to these costs, however, there are also significant building maintenance and improvements to fund. Over the years, we have absorbed major costs: the retiling of the church spire, new central heating, and changes at the front entrance including a glass door and accessible toilet. It costs a lot to keep an old building maintained, watertight and operationally efficient and these items have fully absorbed our reserves. This puts at risk our ability to maintain our building, let alone implement any ideas about making our church more flexible for worship, social and community use. It is for this reason that we seek the support of Friends.
The Friends of Midhurst Parish Church was launched last year, holding two meetings a year, to encourage businesses, retailers and individuals in the town who support the building and the work of the church, even if not being churchgoers themselves. The annual subscription is used specifically and solely to maintain the fabric of the building, and with income so far from the Friends it is intended to replaster and paint an interior wall that was badly damaged by damp.
(Pictured above are (from left to right): Clive Rowntree, of Anderson Rowntree, solicitors and Chairman of the Friends, the Revd Dave Willis, Vicar of Midhurst Parish Church, and Jonathan Russell, CEO of the Cowdray Estate.)
Any business or individual wanting to become a Friend should simply contact the Parish Office (or phone 01730-815356) for information.