Church-in-the-Wood displays its heritage with four open days

The open days proved a hit with visitors
The open days proved a hit with visitors

ONE of the oldest churches in south east England, Church-in-the-Wood opened its doors to visitors as part of the Heritage Open Days programme.

From September 8 to 11, the church, in Churchwood Lane, invited visitors to explore the rich local history, with talks, and tours of the woodland and graveyard.

Terry Mulqueen, who organised the event at the church after being contacted by English Heritage, said: “It was absolutely fantastic, the turn-out was far above expectations.

“We can’t wait to do it again next year.”

Around 150 people attended over the four days, but this figure only includes those who signed the guestbook, so the real number may have been much higher.

Those who attended ranged from young families, to older people. Some visitors had historical family links to the church that they were keen to find out more about, while others had never visited before.

Terry said: “A lot of people didn’t even know the church was there, despite the fact that it is one of the oldest in the south of England.”

He added that AA road signs to the church really helped bring in the visitors, as it is slightly off the beaten track.

Next Saturday (September 24), the church will be hosting its annual woodland fair from 10am to 3pm, with plenty of stalls, local produce, and activities for children including a bug hunt.

Throughout the Heritage Open Days programme of events, Happy Harold, Hastings’ 1928 open-top trolleybus was actively involved, ferrying families between some of the venues on or near the seafront.