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The Fundraising Group for St Michael’s invites you to participate in its second VIRTUAL RAFFLE, to take place in JULY

Prize 1: A picnic for two, ready to take out to a beauty spot or your garden!

to include:

A bottle of Nyetimber sparkling wine

Local cheeses and pâté · Hungry Guest bread

Home-made crackers and nibbles

Dessert by Jane Bellinger (choice available)

Disposable plates and cutlery (not plastic!)

Delivered on a date to suit you

With thanks to Nyetimber Winery, Jane Bellinger and Amberley Village Stores

Prize 2:

A delicious home-made cake

(choice available)

With thanks to Pat O’Beirne

Here’s how it works:

  1. Phone or email Mel Edge, 01798 831461, 07973 163369 (voicemail),, who will give you your ticket numbers. Tickets are 50p each and as with a normal raffle you can buy as many as you like. You can choose pink, blue, yellow or green and choose your numbers if not already sold.


  1. Pay for your tickets - see below for how to pay 


  1. When the raffle closes, someone unconnected with this process will choose the winning numbers. 

To pay by cash or cheque,

Please drop off to any of the addresses below, in an envelope with your name and contact details. Cheques should be made payable to ‘PCC of Amberley’. 

To pay by bank transfer,

 account name PCC of Amberley

Sort code 20 98 74

Account number 13834387

Important! if paying by bank transfer please reference your payment with your surname and ‘Raffle2’ and make sure you have given Mel your contact details.

Drop off addresses for cash or cheque:

Jim and Sue Endacott

2 Sportsmans Cottages

Rackham Road

Amberley BN18 9NR

James Tolson,


North Stoke Road

Houghton Bridge, BN18 9LR

Hazel Allinson

Garden House

East St

Amberley BN18 9NN

Ros Simpson

Downlands Loft

High Street

Amberley BN18 9NL

Raffle open 13-24 July. Tickets will be available every day 0900-1800 by phone, and anytime by email. Please leave a message if Mel does not answer.

Good Luck!

Mel Edge

Churchwarden, St Michael’s Amberley

On behalf of the Fundraising Team

Why are we fundraising?

Our four parish churches at Amberley, Parham, Wiggonholt and Greatham together serve the Wildbrooks united benefice, working for the benefit of all in our communities and beyond. It is a great joy to be your Priest in Charge, here for you whether you worship with us on a Sunday or not. The churches today remain, as they have been over centuries, focal points for the community in times of joy and celebration, grief and remembrance.


Our congregations are not large but the financial challenges are great. Parishes are expected to be self-supporting – we don’t receive financial support from central Church of England funds or from the Diocese. On the contrary, we need to pay our share towards diocesan ministry costs which include clergy training, stipends and pensions.

With small congregations this is a struggle but, thanks to the generosity of our worshipping communities and others, we usually manage to meet our commitments to the Diocese and cover the expenses of the day-to-day work of the churches in supporting the spiritual and other needs of the community.

But then there are the buildings.

All four church buildings are historically important and are Grade I Listed. They are frighteningly expensive to maintain.

As most of you know, St Michael’s held a major fundraising appeal in 2018-2019, in order to carry out important conservation work on the tower. Wiggonholt church has recently sought funds to restore the Lychgate and Parham its roof. We remain hugely grateful to everyone who supported these appeals, and others that have been held over the years, by fundraising or donation.

But the work of maintaining these buildings is endless. The routine maintenance for St Michael’s alone has been costed at over £8000 a year. We really want to keep on top of the maintenance, because, as we all know, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’.

This year, Coronavirus has created additional pressure. With fewer visitors, weddings and other services, our income has fallen dramatically. St Michael’s has already started fundraising to help make up some of this lost ground (see details of the July Raffle elsewhere in this magazine) and will be doing more in future as restrictions are eased. The other churches will be developing their own fundraising ideas.

We think this is the right moment to launch a general appeal for funds to support the maintenance of our four wonderful buildings. We know that they are enjoyed and appreciated by residents and visitors, including people of many faiths or none. They are part of the fabric of our communities.

Would you be able to help us maintain them for the benefit of us all and for future generations?

We know that many charities are urgently seeking funds at this time, and that many have suffered financially in the current crisis, but we hope you may be able to support us in some way.

Here’s how you could help:

  • Best of all – commit to a standing order of a certain amount per month to the PCC of the church you wish to support.
  • Make a one off donation – again to the PCC of your choice – by Bank Transfer or cheque

Please contact a churchwarden (see list at the back of this magazine) or myself to ensure you have correct bank account details.   We will update you on progress in future issues of the Wildbrooks Magazine.

Thank you for your support.

Gerry Burgess, Priest in Charge, the Wildbrooks benefice

Saving the Church Tower: A Successful Previous Campaign

The church tower needed substantial remedial work, related primarily to damp and to structural weaknesses. The problems were such that our beautiful Grade I listed building was added to the Heritage at Risk Register, as being in “poor” condition.   The costs of the works necessary have cost well over two hundred thousand pounds. A major award from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in mid-2018 allowed the works to start, and these will be completed by autumn 2019.


The Problems with the Church Tower

There were problems with dampness in the tower for years.  The dampness caused deterioration of the timbers and beams and of the wall surfaces within the tower apartments.

A number of factors contributed to the problems being encountered, through moisture entering the tower and not being removed: water ingress, via leaks in the roof or through masonry walls; lack of ventilation; unsuitable modern materials applied over old that seal in moisture; use of cement-based mortars; environmental factors.  The tower cannot be ‘waterproofed’ – in fact most church towers are damp.  The challenge is to manage the problem:  to keep the damp under control, to correct structural problems that ha already arisen as a result of the damp, and to avoid the risk of more serious damage to the fabric of the building.

Several detailed inspections of the tower identified the following issues, all of which have received attention:

  • Cement pointing, which had been carried out in the past, doesn’t allow the stones to “breathe” and release moisture.  This contributed to the dampness showing on the interior walls of the tower, and to damage to the stonework: in freezing weather, the stone may fracture, and this was happening. Also, some of this pointing was loose and could fall.
  • Stonework round the ventilation louvres is a further source of damp retention and water ingress, and needed attention.
  • Two apertures in the tower (ringing chamber south side , and bell chamber north side) had been closed in the past, so reducing the tower ventilation and contributing to the dampness. These apertures have been reopened
  • The state of the wooden and steel beams supporting the vestry and ringing chamber ceilings was a concern.  These needed repair or replacement.
  • Floorboards in the bell chamber were unsafe and needed strengthening.
  • The ladder to the bell chamber was dangerous and needed replacing.
  • The vestry wall plaster needed to be removed and replaced by a new wall lining to create a more acceptable environment.
  • It needed to be possible to fix open the window in the ringing chamber.
  • The tower roof parapet needed to be repaired and the lead gutters needed reconstruction.
  • Damaged plaster to the nave wall of the vestry needed repair.
  • The boiler room roof was asbestos and had to be replaced.
  • The drainage around the tower needed improvement.
  • Lightning protection needed to be installed.
  • The wall painting on nave wall of tower needed remedial work.

Consequences had works not been carried out

  • Decayed beams in the ringing chamber ceiling and vestry ceiling (supporting the ringing chamber floor) would have continued to deteriorate and in time fail, with obvious and potentially dangerous consequences.
  • The tower rooms that are in regular use (the vestry and ringing chamber) would have become progressively unpleasant and difficult to use (eg there was extensive green mould on the ringing chamber walls and, in the vestry, continual falls of plaster, rotting of the wooden fitments, etc.)
  • The plaster on the nave side of the vestry wall would have continued to deteriorate with the likely eventual loss of the small wall painting there.
  • The ladder to the bell chamber didn't meet current safety standards and was dangerous.  Had there been an accident and we hadn’t done work that the quinquennial report clearly said we should do, the insurers probably would not have paid out.

Current status

Our Heritage Fund award required us to obtain further specialist reports, prepare a full schedule of works required, and obtain competitive tenders for the necessary works.

This was all done, as part of the Heritage Fund "Development Phase", for which we obtained a grant from the Heritage Fund of £10,568. We were subsequently awarded up to £109,300, in June 2018 for the Delivery Phase of our project, during which the works would be carried out.  These works are now complete.

When work started, the funds raised at this point were insufficient to complete all the scheduled works, but they ensured that the most critical work could be completed.  Fundaising necessarily had to continue.

The original fundraising target of £200,000 was set several years ago and it became clear that this figure was too low: the costs would exceed £200,000 and some contingency needed to be allowed for. In fact the total costs came to £202,000, so the sum of nearly £222,000 which has now been raised was sufficient for all the works to be completed plus giving the PCC (the Parochial Church Council of Amberley with North Stoke) an additional and much-needed reserve for on-going maintenance of the church fabric. The PCC must keep a reasonable reserve for on-going maintenance, and parts of the church other than the tower will soon need attention.  A new five-yearly "quinquennial" report on the church's fabric is due, and it is inevitable that this will identify works needed over the coming years.

The total funds raised include grants awarded by the Ian M Foulerton Charitable Trust (£15,000), the Garfield Weston Foundation (£15,000), the Sussex Historic Churches Trust (£10,000), and £5,000 each from two further trusts.  The ACTnow team gratefully acknowledge these awards.  The balance of our income has come from events (53%) and from donations (47%).  We are extemely grateful to all who supported the ACTnow campaign.