Published by Sam Swyer on Thu, 13 Sep 2018 18:00

A huge thank you all to all the churches in the Benefice for opening your doors and welcoming visitors and offering refreshments last Saturday.

To those who took part, well done, some young people cycled around the benefice churches, other fit people cycled further afield and us oldies took to our cars and travelled across the forest.

Personally we visited 25 churches in the New Forest Area. We loved the variety of the vey old Saxon Church in Breamore to the modern wooden churches near Lymington. To Boldre church with its box pews and the 1200 flint Whitsbury Church with its private drive, through electric gates, then around the stud perimeter. This had been renovated by the late William Hill. Churches with beautiful wall paintings to others with modern stain glass and exquisite fabric work. It was a real treat and we will be returning to many of these churches to learn more about their history. We were sad to see the oldest church in the New Forest , St Nicholas Church in Brockenhurst, had suffered a collapse of part of the ceiling and cannot be used at present. Let's hope the Historic Churches Trust will be able to help them.

I would also like to thank all the sponsors who made this such a worthwhile event. Each church in the benefice will get half of the money they raised. The other half goes to Historic Churches Trust, of whom, I am sure, we will all be applying for a grant at some time. If we support them I am sure they will support us!

Thank you all again and remember this is an annual event that always falls on the second Saturday in September, so keep Saturday 14th September free next year.

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