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‘The Bloomsbury
Group in
Berwick Church’
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Parish Magazine

The latest edition of the Wilmington parish magazine can be downloaded here.

Alfriston School and Berwick Church Swift Conservation Project 2017

For information about this fascinating project, please click here.

Berwick Church Painting Restoration and Conservation Appeal

The paintings in Berwick church are in urgent need of conservation. It is a major and challenging task but also an opportunity for the church to reconsider the way in which it serves the local and wider community. We have just heard that we have been successful in our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for what is called a ‘First Round Development Phase’. The funding will enable detailed proposals for a major project to be prepared for a ‘Second Round Application’ that will hopefully happen later this year.

During the Development Phase we will be planning activities and events with the local community and various other groups in and around the church that we hope will take place in 2019/2020. We also plan to host events for small groups of vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals. Sussex University, Brighton University and Chichester University are interested in developing projects with students.

We aim to work with small groups on planned visits rather than increase the traffic of general tourists to the church. This will involve considerable organization supported by a team of volunteers and we hope that people from the local community will get involved.

The Berwick Conservation Trust has the challenging task of raising match funding for the HLF Second Round Application and more information about this will follow. It would be really helpful to begin to create a list of local people who are interested in supporting this project. If you are, then please contact the Trust Secretary:

Peter Blee

Bloomsbury, Bloodshed and the Bible, with Julian Fellowes

7.00 to 9.00 pm on Thursday, April 12 at The Royal Institution, 21 Albermarle Street, London, W1S 4BS

The programme will begin with actor, novelist, film director and screenwriter Julian Fellowes in conversation with Deborah Gage, as a prelude to an illustrated, dramatized talk by the Revd. Mary Sitwell and Linda Hallums, based on the recently published book, The Bloomsbury Group in Berwick Church, by the Revd. Peter Blee. The reading illustrated with images of the pictures and preparatory sketches evokes the story of the commissioning of the paintings by Duncan Grant, Vanessa and Quentin Bell in 1941 by Bishop Bell of Chichester for the church of St. Michael and All Angels, Berwick nestled in the lee of the South Downs. They represent one of the most important commissions in 20th century British Art and probably one of the most complete decorative schemes of modern artists for an ancient rural church in this country. Organised jointly by the Art Fund and the Berwick (Sussex) Conservation Trust (founded to conserve the paintings 75 years following their installation and dedication in the church in 1943), the occasion will be enhanced by the extraordinary and historic setting of the Royal Institution, in the celebrated raked amphitheatre, where scientists, artists, authors and politicians have shared their ideas for 200 years.

Tickets for the evening may be purchased through the Art Fund web site: