Exhibition looks at history of 200-year-old chapel

Herstmonceux Chapel
Herstmonceux Chapel

HERSTMONCEUX Chapel celebrates its 200th anniversary on August 29 with an exhibition tracing the history of the much-cherished place of worship.

And a permanent record of the chapel’s history has been produced in the form of an exhaustively-researched book ‘200 Years of Praise – The History of Herstmonceux Chapel’.

The book is the work of a parish team led by Judith Kinnison Bourke. It traces the history of the chapel from its construction in 1811 to the present day.

Judith explains that in the 18th and early 19th centuries Non-Conformists required a licence from the Anglican Bishop, under the Toleration Act, to hold religious meetings. A group of eight appear to have founded, and funded, the chapel on its site in Church Road.

Chapel records and other sources have been delved to produce a record of its ministers and preachers, its high points and its struggles.

The Free Church plays a full role in village life. Twelve baptisms over the past 18 months are a testimony to its healthy state.

A service of celebration takes place at the Free Church on Sunday August 28 at 10.45am, and the 200th Birthday Exhibition on Monday August 29 is open from 2-5pm. The chapel’s history available for £5 from the Village Information Centre, Herstmonceux and Christian Book Shops in the area. It can be ordered from www.herstmonceuxfreechurch.org, with a £2 supplement for postage and packaging.