St. Margaret’s Church
North Lane, West Hoathly, West Sussex
St Margaret's Churchyard at West Hoathly is remarkable for the quantity, quality and variety of the surviving memorials. This was recognised by a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which had made it possible to restore many of the box tombs during 1996 and 1997.
A debt of gratitude is due to the Friends of the Churchyard Trust, a long-established, independent local trust which supports improvement projects in the churchyard each year through the interest received on its capital funds. Donations to support the work of the Trust are warmly welcomed and should be addressed to the Friends of the Churchyard Trust, c/o The Vicarage, West Hoathly, West Sussex, RH19 4QF. The grass, hedges, shrubs and trees of the churchyard are maintained and cared through the year by the PCC, who employs a skilled local gardener.
Those of us at St. Margaret's believe the churchyard has one of the best views in Sussex. Walk down to the viewpoint, kindly created in memory of a parishioner, to enjoy the magnificent view over the valleys of the River Ouse towards Lewes and the South Downs. Throughout the churchyard you will notice the variety of tombstones, each reflecting something of the attitude of their time to life and death, as well as reminding us of parishioners who played their part in village life in years gone by. The older tombs show the
individual interpretation A list of more than 100 trees, ferns and other plants found growing in the churchyard has been compiled. Many of these plants are important in the lifecycle of various animals and insects who live there. Over 55 different sorts of birds and 26 varieties of butterflies have been observed in the vicinity. The churchyard is still in use and is regularly visited by many relatives and people from the community.
A fuller account of the Churchyard and Memorials is given in a booklet, available in church.
The Trust is an independent grant giving body with responsibility for applying the income deriving from our capital fund solely to assist the PCC in funding work in preserving and enhancing the churchyard as a public place. In recent years the Trust has met the whole cost of reconstructing and extending the brick paths, gateway steps, a new drainage system for the long path and providing a new sloping path, allowing disabled people access to the Pam Furse Memorial corner and the recently re-opened burial ground.
Although the, regular income from our capital fund allows significant help to be given to the PCC in funding churchyard improvement work which may not otherwise be done, the Trustees have to take account of future trends in inflation and therefore need to continue augmenting the capital fund in order to maintain the real value of our income so that we are able to keep up the level of work which we sponsor. To achieve this aim, further donations and financial assistance are sought and will be gratefully received.
Here we have an excellent opportunity for all those in and beyond the parish to make a contribution towards the preservation of this attractive piece of common heritage and to ensure that it remains a place of peace and beauty well into the future,
THE FRIENDS OF WEST HOATHLY CHURCHYARD TRUST
Registered Charity N 0.231971
Hon. Chairman - Paul Brown - 01342 811 866
Hon. Treasurer - Brian Couchy - 01342 810 561
Tim Baker - 01342 810 424
Will Buckley - 01342 811 113
Rory Clarke - 01342 810 308
Hans Sethi - 01342 810 085
Derek Shurvell - 01342 810 780
Andrew Slater - 01342 810 478