Craftspeople ‘delighted’ with results of church décor modernising project

Rosemary Russell, Virginia Roberts, Louise Mabbs, Janet Batt, Beverly Walsh, Jean Griffiths, Liz Sollom, Lorna Wilkinson, and Jeanette Hicks
Rosemary Russell, Virginia Roberts, Louise Mabbs, Janet Batt, Beverly Walsh, Jean Griffiths, Liz Sollom, Lorna Wilkinson, and Jeanette Hicks

A group of talented ladies joined forces with a craftsman to renovate the interior of Pulborough United Reformed Church.

Following the redevelopment of the building, which allowed for easy access from Lower Street and better use of the space inside the church, local people expressed a desire to modernise the interior and replace the décor.

To this end, a new communion table was commissioned from a local craftsman - furniture maker Rob Sollom - and a small group of ladies from the church’s Craft Cafe decided to produce some new banners for the worship area.

The ladies received help and guidance from textile artists Louise Mabbs and Jean Griffiths.

After two years of hard work, the new additions to the church furnishings were finally unveiled and dedicated at a service on Sunday, October 15.

It was fitting that Revd Alex Mabbs, minister of the Brighthelm Centre in Brighton and husband of Louise, was able to conduct the service.

Janet Batt had the original idea of making what was initially intended to be ‘a couple of small banners’.

She said: “If we had known what we were letting ourselves in for, I don’t think we would have embarked on the project.

“However, we have learned a lot along the way and we are delighted with the finished result.”

Visitors poured in to the church on Saturday to attend a Craft Fayre, at which the banners were showcased. These new additions were on show to the public for the first time on Saturday and were much admired.

The Craft Fayre was the first such event to take place since the renovation of the building two years ago. Previously, the church was inaccessible to many, due to flights of steps from the road and a cramped internal layout. The transformed building now has easy access, accessible toilets and is wheelchair and buggy friendly.

Janet Batt said: “We had agonised over how to address these problems for many years and finally decided to take a leap of faith, trusting that the necessary money would be found. The transformation of the building has allowed us to embark on several new initiatives, including a Caring Cafe and a Craft Cafe, which now has over 40 members. It was from this that the idea of a Craft Fayre came about and so, after much planning and making, the doors opened on Saturday to reveal a huge array of handcrafted items, showcasing a range of talents to be found in Pulborough.”

To see the banners, depicting the local countryside through the seasons, along with the English oak table, visit the Craft Cafe, held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 10am to 12 noon, or the Caring Cafe on the first Thursday of each month from 10am to 12 noon. Other times by arrangement.

For more information email or telephone 01798 873174.