Church celebrates its 75th anniversary

St. George's Catholic Church Polegate November 21st 2012 E47094N
St. George's Catholic Church Polegate November 21st 2012 E47094N

St George’s Church in Polegate is celebrating its 75th anniversary next month with a host of events.

There will be a Thanksgiving Service at 10am on Saturday December 7 followed by refreshments in the church hall with a small display of mementoes and vestments on view in the church until 2pm.

A spokesperson at the church said, “All are welcome to this historic event which will mark the 75th anniversary of the opening of the church”.

It was way back in November 1934 that land was obtained to build a Catholic church in Polegate.

While Father J Corballis was at Our Lady of Ransom Church in Eastbourne, he proclaimed he would “bring the Mass to Polegate” and early in 1938 building work began and the stone laying ceremony took place.

Six months later on December 6 1938 the church was ready and was blessed by Father Corballis.

The following day it was officially opened and Mass was celebrated. The church was dedicated to St George because Father Corballis had served for 12 years at St George’s Cathedral in Southwark. The exterior was finished in flint with Portland stone dressings in accordance with the Sussex style architecture. The interior was left plain and unadorned.

In 1965 Father John Flanagan was appointed as the first parish priest of St George’s and he refurbished the church, built the hall and the presbytery. In recent years the reredos (altarpiece) behind the altar was painted by local artist Angela Beddingfield and the glass doors of the reconciliation room were designed by parishioners Philip Brown and his late wife Gounil.

Since Father Flanagan, there have been five parish priests: Father James Kenny, Canon Bernard Thom, Father Dermot Keaveney, Father Kieran Gardinier and Father Anthony Shellet before present priest Father Rory Kelly.