Apuldram Around

SEPTEMBER 2020

Welcome back to church!
We are delighted to be able to hold Sunday services again with our first service at 08.00 on Sunday 13th September. Services will be held at Apuldram at 08.00 on the second and fourth Sunday of the month and at Fishbourne at 09.30 on the first and third Sunday of the month. Service information can be found on the church notice board or at apuldramchurch.co.uk
The church community is really looking forward to be able to worship together again. While live streaming, Zoom and online services have become a part of worship over the past 6 months none can replace communal worship in church – even if singing is not permitted!
Services for the time being will not be quite the same as in the past. Please remember that necessary restrictions are in place for the safety of everyone in church and we must follow the Government’s guidance.

Booking for services is now necessary so please go fishbournechurch.org.uk where an online booking system for both churches has been set up and there are guidance notes for you to read. Some spaces will be available for those unable to book online.
Please note that the church must remain closed other than for services.

Apuldram Parish Meeting
A meeting was held at the end of August, in the church this time to allow the requisite social distancing. The distances between the attendees and the muffled speech through masks did not perhaps make for the most spontaneous of meetings! The Clerk to the Parish Meeting will post the Minutes of this meeting on the website, where Minutes of previous meetings can be found www.apuldrampm.org.uk

The gardens at Rymans
will open on the afternoons of the weekend of 12th and 13th September. Visitors must book through ngs and numbers are necessarily limited. The Tea Team considered the feasibility of providing tea and cake but the whole venture was so beset with problems that the idea was abandoned.
We have really missed not getting together to provide teas on those weekends that Rymans is open. It may be hard work but it is heartening to realise how much visitors enjoy our efforts – and we have a lot of laughs too!

Our well kept churchyard
Thanks to Patrick and his team who mow the grass twice a month and the continued hard work of a very depleted churchyard gardening group, the churchyard has looked well cared for over the past six months. An awkward space just by the entrance to St Mary’s Meeting Room has been planted with bergenia. These have settled in well and are beginning to fill out. The roses looked, and smelt, fantastic in June. The shrub border by the top of the car park is making slow growth, battling as it is with the ravages of rabbits and deer, not to mention drought and wind. The hedges planted courtesy of the Harbour Conservancy are flourishing which is very satisfactory. Clearly the aforementioned pests prefer the shrub border! We would welcome help for an hour or two. Please get in touch with Maureen at maureenclake79@gmail.com to find out when the next gardening session is planned.

The banners are back!
The banners were removed from the church almost a year ago prior to the Festival of Flowers. During the winter months Jose Pound worked painstakingly on them, restoring them beautifully. The plan was to rehang by Easter, but lock down put an end to that. They are now back, covered in gossamer net which will help conserve them. Thank you, Jose, for the time and effort you have put into repairing the banners.
See To Sew or Not To Sew? to read about the repairs to the banners.

Another cancellation – Historic Churches Ride and Stride
Due to take place on Saturday 12th September, this event has had to be cancelled for this year.

To Sew or Not To Sew?

At St Mary’s we have two lovely banners. One is the Patronal banner possibly mid-19th century and a Mothers Union one which I judge to be about 100 years old as the design of the lettering seems to put it in the L’Art Nouveau, early 1920’s style. We do not have any dates for either, but did find out via Lambeth Palace that the MU at Apuldram was up and running in 1932 as a Mrs Bolster who lived at Crouchers was the Members secretary.

Unlike Altar frontals and vestments, banners and hangings are ‘just there’, part of the furnishings. In 2007 when they were removed for the flower festival some repair work was needed but we didn’t do anything and rehung them.  When removed again for last year’s flower festival it was a very different story. The banners had really deteriorated; something had to be done.

Maureen, Hilary and I looked at them, discussing what we could do. Due to age and atmospheric conditions in church for over a hundred years, time had taken its toll; silk embroidery threads were rotting and powdering, the gold work outlining the flowers falling off and the background falling to bits. I said I would try to repair the Patronal one but the MU banner was really too delicate. We approached the Seffrid Guild at the cathedral but they were not taking on any work from the parishes. Someone suggested the Royal School of Needlework, but nothing came of that and we thought about the Repair Shop run by the BBC at the Weald and Downland Museum.

The Patronal banner was the easiest; It is on a background of cream damask, with letters worked in silver, now black with age, and a pretty floral design framework in the Florentine manner and an appliqued panel of the Annunciation worked in gold and silver in the middle; it must have looked stunning when new. I had done a one day course in Gold Work with the WI some years ago and now it was hopefully going to pay off. So with time on my hands as Graham was convalescing I collected my bits and pieces and started on the project, but when I stitched one area another area just popped off. It took about ten days on and off and a lot of patience to complete. I was reasonably happy with the outcome and the banner was ready to go back into church.

Patronal banner

I then looked again at the MU banner. Could I have a go? Yes I could, it wasn’t going to beat me. The blue silk damask was so fragile it split just looking at it. The lilies had originally been worked in Duchess Satin, embroidered and outlined in gold with the lettering, luckily for us, also in gold, so no tarnished silver. Every part of the lettering was falling off, only the basic threads of the Duchess satin survived so no nice shiny petals and the fringe had to be removed and thrown away as it just powdered and fell apart. I tackled this job in a slightly different way and I’m sure the Royal College of Needlework would cringe! I’m a flower arranger and cook not an embroideress. I managed to consolidate the lettering and the outline of the flowers and it didn’t look too bad. The top loops were in shreds so were reworked and the top part of the silk was falling away, but how to keep it in place?

Mothers’ Union banner

I had a ‘light bulb’ moment in the middle of the night. As an avid watcher of The Repair Shop, I knew the ladies who repair the textiles talk about conservation net. So I looked it up on the internet, found that it was only available in Nottingham, phoned up and by the next day had an offcut. It was only £60 instead of £105! Bargain! So if anyone would like to make a contribution towards the cost we would be most grateful. We do have enough left over to conserve other small textiles in church. The two banners are now encased in gossamer net so helping to hold back the embroidery for another few years. They will be in place again at Easter.
Jose Pound

St Mary’s Meeting Room is now available to the community for hire, either by regular users or for one-off events. For further information please go to the St Mary’s Meeting Room page

Apuldram Around is printed as a separate page within Fishbourne and Apuldram Parish Magazine. Please contact us to find out how to subscribe to the Parish Magazine.