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Church Diary
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Appeal - Proposed New Church, West Bognor (St. Wilfrid's)

For some time past the need for a new Church in West Bognor has been growing more and more pressing. During the last year a large number of houses have been erected within a short distance of the temporary Church. A site was secured upwards of ten years ago and in 1905 a Committee was formed and the work of collecting Subscriptions and preparing of plans definitely begun. The well-known Church Architect, Mr. G. H. Fellowes Prynne, F.R.I.B.A. was asked to submit plans and in due course his plans were accepted for a Church which, when completed, will provide accommodation for 950-1,000 people, and will undoubtedly be an object of great beauty in West Bognor.

The designs were brought before a general Meeting of the Congregation and others interested on the 21st of February, 1906, and were unanimously adopted, and a Committee was appointed with a view of taking necessary steps to commence the Building as soon as funds would allow. In the spring of this year the Committee, with the approval of all Subscribers, felt themselves justified in making a start with the Building, and accordingly on the 22nd July the Foundation Stone was laid by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese. The estimated cost of the completed church is about 10,000 exclusive of the Tower and Spire. The Committee decided to begin with the East end and a Contract has been entered into for the erection of the Chancel, Vestries, Heating Chamber, and part of the Nave and Aisles for the sum of 5,261. Towards this amount 2,400 has actually been received and a further amount of about 1,400 has been promised; part, however, of the latter sum will not be available until the work contracted for has been completed. But, even when the credit is taken for the whole of the money promised, there will still be nearly 1,500 required to pay the Builder for his portion of the work, which it is hoped will be finished by August, 1909; there will also be a further expense of perhaps 200 for work of a temporary nature to make the half-finished Building fit for use by adding thereto the present iron church, in addition to Architect's fees and to salary of the Clerk of Works, so that a liability has really been incurred of something like 2,000 beyond the money in hand and promised. Every effort will be made to raise as much money in Bognor as possible and many inhabitants have already responded most generously to the appeal, but Bognor is not a rich place and there are few who can give substantial sums. Neither are the visitors who crowd the Church in the Summer months people of large means; yet, if the Church is to carry forward her great work properly and attend to the spiritual needs needs of the numerous and rapidly increasing population, greater Church accommodation here is absolutely  essential. It is for this reason that the Vicar and Church wardens appeal most earnestly to the kind sympathy and generosity of fellow Churchmen. They are aware of the many claims that exists on all sides - yet it is only by mutual help and sympathy of Churchmen that the spiritual needs of our Church are met in various Districts.

Out time of great need has come and those fellow fellow Churchmen who help us now will be helping forward a great and really necessary work for  God's greater Glory; and we trust that, when by God's blessing we have completed this work, the parishioners of Bognor may have the privilege of helping forward some perhaps equally important Church extension schemes in other parts of the Diocese as they may from time to time arise.

Contributions will be most gratefully received and may be paid to the 'Church Building Fund' at the London and County Bank, Bognor or to the Vicar, or to either of the Hon. Treasurers of the Fund, Messrs.

J. HAVILAND, Dutch House    

W. CUMMING, "Chudleigh", Aldwick Road.

On behalf of the Committee:




Rev. J. C. B. FLETCHER, Rural Dean


The Palace, Chichester

"I trust that this appeal will meet with a prompt and generous response: the needs are pressing"


December 23rd, 1908