Ambitious plan for Harting church annexe

THE ambitious £240,000 project to provide an annexe to Harting parish church is about to be unveiled.

Fund raising coordinator Commander Michael Casement said: "After almost five years of negotiations with legal and planning authorities, the rector, the Rev Martin Lane's vision for facilities fit for the 21st century for Harting Church, with the building of an annexe is nearing completion."

The scaffolding was dismantled last week allowing an unobstructed view for the first time. Now project leaders have announced it will be ready for external viewing on May 31 when Harting Festivities are held and completed in early June.

The entire cost of the major project has been met by fund-raising events in the parish, and donations from about 180 individuals.

Many of the donors bought items for the annexe, from major windows and doors to individual bricks and tiles.

"Donors include residents, past and present, and many who were baptised, or married here, or have relatives buried in the churchyard," said Cdr Casement.

"This has been a whole village effort, in every sense and visitors to the annual Harting Festivities, on May 31, will be able to see the magnificent result, in its full glory."

The annexe will be named in memory of Admiral Sir Horace and Heather Law, who came to live in Harting, on his retirement as Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth over 30 years ago. "Many donations came from admirers who served under his command"

Cdr Casement thanked those who had contributed to the project. "Active fund-raising has now ended but further donations are welcome, to cover the costs of internal furnishings, fittings and equipment. It is not too late, and every little helps."

He also thanked the builders Richardsons of Nyewood for their hard work: "Throughout the exceptional snow and icy conditions this winter, they have been diligent, efficient and helpful."

It is planned to have a celebration party when the project is completed, in June. But the opening ceremony will take place, after the school holidays, in September.