Meeting to debate ‘desecration’ of Petworth’s holy spring

Peter Jerrome and Gordon Stevenson on the bridge that has recently been put up in front of the spring.ks170886-2
Peter Jerrome and Gordon Stevenson on the bridge that has recently been put up in front of the spring.ks170886-2

A behind-closed-doors meeting will be held on Friday, June 2 to discuss the controversial walkway which has ‘desecrated’ a holy spring in Petworth believed to be a 16th century place of pilgrimage.

Objectors described it as ‘hideously unnecessary’ after a 17 metre wooden walkway was built in front of the Virgin Mary Spring by South Downs National Park Authority volunteer rangers. It was apparently done at the request of West Sussex County Council so walkers could avoid a boggy patch of footpath.

The ‘sinking’ path was first raised as an issue, said a spokesman for the county council, by Petworth Town Council in 2015.

But the town council says although it contacted the county council about the state of the footpath, it had no ideas a bridge would be constructed.

County councillor for Petworth Janet Duncton told the annual town meeting on Friday: “My personal view is that it is horrendous.”

Representatives of the town and county council will be at the meeting together with members of Petworth Society.

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