Members' Events - 2008
Our Annual Summer Event visited one of our islands and two churches tucked away in the built-up areas of south east Hampshire.
St Peter's Church, North Hayling
We met at St Peter's Church, North Hayling - a place of worship for over 850 years but accessible from the mainland for less than two centuries. and the vicar of St Peter's and St Andrews, the Reverend Ann Leonard, was our host.
We were greeted in the new porch of St Peter's (below left) by the Venerable Adrian Harbidge, who had organised the afternoon's outing, and by the vicar, Reverend Ann Leonard. The new chair of HIHCT, Lady Joan Appleyard (pictured below, right) was attending her first summer outing. Parishioner Vic Pierce Jones, recently Mayor of Hayling, then recounted the history of the church from the lectern (middle, left).
The interior of St Peter's has altered little since it was built by the monks of Jumieges in around 1140. It has rounded pillars and early pointed arches, formed from templates probably prefabricated at the Abbey of Jumieges. Vic showed us the modest tombstone of Princess Yourievsky, a member of the Russian Royal family who lived in exile in North Hayling for many years.
Sacred Heart Church in Waterlooville
This is a fascinating church, tucked away amid modern housing estates. It was built in the 1920s to serve the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity who had founded a mission for Portsmouth girls.
Uniquely, there are three aisles (below, bottom left) set at 45 degrees to one another, the central one to accommodate the nuns, one of the side aisles occupied by the girls who were looked after in the mission, the other by parishioners. The sisters are moving away from Waterlooville and the site has been developed by developers; a new church is being built nearby for the parishioners. It is uncertain what will happen to the listed building. We were shown the building by Philip Hayler (below, top right).
St Thomas Becket, Bedhampton
The Church of St Thomas a Becket at Bedhampton brought us back to the Middle Ages as it started in the early 12th century. The chancel arch is a particularly notable feature of that period, but the rest of the Church is 14th and 15th century. Most parts underwent a Victorian restoration, and much more recently "the interior was chastened with whitewash" to quote
Pevsner's description. That was the real reason for our visit as our very recent grant was to strip the emulsion paint from walls and stonework in the chancel as the first phase of the internal improvements. The Norman arch was shown to be of good stonework, and the chancel looked much more dignified with the contrast between exposed stone and lime-washed walls.
The other aspect of the work at the Church, which the Trust could not afford also to grant-aid, was the new extension which serves as a meeting room with toilet accommodation, and a choir vestry above accessible by lift. Externally the work is very much in keeping with the main building, and looks as if it had always been part of it - an important consideration as it now faces on to the well-landscaped park and playing fields to the east.
The church laid on an excellent tea for its guests to round off the day.