Wednesday 8th October 2014
Fr Ed Tomlinson, leader of the Tunbridge Wells Ordinariate group based at St Anselm's Church, Pembury, is raising funds for his ongoing renovation project there. The current drive is to raise the sum necessary for the erection of an antique lychgate (pictured here) which will eventually form the new entrance into St Anselm's. It's all part of a general refurbishment which is aimed, in Fr Tomlinson's words, "with a deliberate emphasis on reverence, beauty and a robust unchanging tradition that transcends time".
The lychgate was originally situated in the churchyard of St. Andrew's in Burgess Hill, an Anglican parish built in the Victorian era. Fr Tomlinson says: "Sadly it was dismantled some years ago and no longer being used or wanted. So for a small fee we were able to secure it, transport it to Pembury and now plan to restore it and erect it as a new entrance way into Saint Anselm's once our building work is complete. It is fantastic to have secured this historic lychgate because it will create for us a beautiful new feature evoking something of the English spirituality and patrimony that lies at the heart of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham".
The erection of the lychgate is part of much bigger renovation plan, the main thrust of which is the building of a new parish room which will go to tender within a month, funded through parish loans and a gift from the diocese. After that, the longer process will begin of transforming what is now a dual use hall and church into a permanent place of worship. "A work of beautification and prayer" Fr Tomlinson says.
Repairing and replacing the cracked beams of the lychgate is likely to cost a few thousand pounds which Fr Tomlinson, his Ordinariate group and the wider parish will raise. On the evening of November 29 a special evening of entertainment has been planned at Pembury Village Hall, with dinner and a local band, including members of the congregation at St Anselm's, performing. Tickets are on sale priced at £15 per adult, with all money raised going towards the project. For more information contact: 01892 825009.