Parish has tried to save chapel

It is not my intention to get into a discussion with other letter writers and indeed those who have made comment in your columns, but I felt I had to write expressing my sadness people should make comment with regards to the Horsham Road Cemetery Chapel, the current state it is in and any connection to the boys from the school that are buried there and indeed those from the laundry.

For many years, certainly back in the 80s when I was chairman of the then Petworth Parish Council, Don Simpson, the then clerk, myself and of course with the support of the other councillors, we tried and tried to find out who owned the property as it was starting to look in need of TLC. This was without success, no-one claimed ownership and it’s not a new idea suggesting an application for some use may well bring an owner out of the woodwork, this was discussed and the problem was what could you ask for.

As one writer said, although it was there long before the boys’ graves, the fact is we would wish to be respectful to their memory and the options were very limited.

At the time the man who had the parish contract for looking after the streets etc was storing his equipment in the chapel and it was obvious something needed to be done.

I cannot give you any answers as to what it can now be used for, but to claim the parish has done nothing is not the case.

Every chairman since myself has tried to take up the challenge of how to deal with the building, we even in my chairmanship put £5,000 apiece from parish, Leconfield Estate and the Chichester District Council to try and start some repairs and even in those days £15,000 wasn’t going to do a complete job.

As I have said, I don’t have the answers for this dear little chapel which is now unsafe, but for any to insinuate nobody has ever done anything and it’s a disgrace is nothing short of scandalous.

Janet Duncton

Petworth district councillor and county councillor