THE tiny hamlet of Tillington has demonstrated a true sense of community ethos, having spent much of 2013 rallying round to raise money for its historical and beloved, All Hallows Church.
‘TICH 2013’ was the fundraising initiative set up to raise money for some essential repairs, refurbishment and redecoration of the church.
The appeal now draws to a close after six months, 13 major events, five smaller occasions, six successful grant applications, numerous individual donations, and some 2,500 contributors or participants.
The total monies raised from all these sources will amount to almost £40,000.
This, together with a gift of £5,000 received from the Friends of Tillington Church, means the total will nearly match the costs of the recent extensive refurbishment and repairs to the church.
This should allow the outstanding stonework on the tower to be carried out in 2014, and be covered by the existing reserve funds.
Gerald Gresham Cooke, one of the driving forces behind the appeal, said: “The community and many more-distant supporters have come together in a wonderfully generous and supportive way so that the community spirit has benefited almost as much as the fundraising itself.
“There have been garden fetes, street parties, country walks, wine tastings, nostalgia evenings, safari suppers, open gardens, and even a ‘cheeky letter campaign’.
“The last six weeks alone has seen a great ‘Instant Sunshine’ performance for the oldies, a fantastic children’s party for the under-eights, and a grand finale – a Scots Crown Band concert for all ages. So, do come along and visit this beautiful church.
“The cost of the fabric repairs is only justified by the people who come and use it.
“With its well-known Scots crown and origins dating back to the 12th century, it is most certainly one of the loveliest and most vibrant churches in West Sussex.”
Ian Fergusson was also a front runner in the TICH appeal. He said: “The fundraising far exceeded our expectations, and it was entirely thanks to the people in the village – there was as much value in fundraising as in community building.
“The community is outstanding. We had more than 2,500 people attend all of the events, and with our surplus funds, next year we will be focusing on the people we will be able to help with this money.”
See this week’s Midhurst and Petworth Observer (out January 2) for our full round-up and pictures of TICH 2013.