Hove church turns to Burns to pay for repairs after Christmas break-in

Posted On 20 Jan 2014 at 1:54 pm

A Hove church is holding a Burns supper to raise money for repairs after a valuable window was smashed during a break-in on Christmas Day.

The fundraising dinner takes place exactly a month on from Christmas – Saturday 25 January or Burns Night – in All Saints in The Drive, Hove.

The evening, including a three-course dinner, starts at 7pm with tickets costing £25.

Not only did the thief or thieves steal a donation box believed to contain about £500 in the break-in after Midnight Mass but a stained glass window was smashed.

The window was thought to be the work of Martin Travers, a respected early 20th century church artist.

All Saints had only just started an appeal to raise £45,000 to repair its historic stained glass and their sandstone surrounds – or mullions.

The Reverend Phil Ritchie and the Reverend Talisker MacLeod in All Saints Church, Hove

The Reverend Phil Ritchie and the Reverend Talisker MacLeod in All Saints Church, Hove

Emergency repairs were carried out to the east window – in the sanctuary area of the church – in the summer. Work is needed to the windows on the south side, in Eaton Road, too.

The vital work is part of a rolling programme to maintain the grade I listed building.

Speaking about the break-in, the Reverend Phil Ritchie said: “It was upsetting.

“We lost this beautiful 1920s stained glass window which we think was a Martin Travers window.

“It’s sad because it was on that day and we’d had so many of the local community in.

“One of my aims here has been to make All Saints available and a community space – a space for people to use and to be quiet, of all faiths or none.

“Everyone needs times of quiet. In Hove particularly there are so few places where there’s quiet or stillness. Hove is increasingly such a built environment.

“We’d already started up a Save Our Windows Appeal.

“We’d done some emergency repairs on the east window in the summer because we had to. The sandstone holding them in place suffers from the elements.

“And we need to do some work to those in the south aisle.”

Like many churches, All Saints is in danger of running out of financial reserves, making the fundraising appeal even more important.

The church’s website said: “The recent break in on Christmas morning has just increased our problems.

“All Saints is a beautiful church but its running costs are large and currently we are not able to meet all of those costs.

“We estimate that All Saints is losing somewhere in the region of £75,000 to £100,000 a year.”

Tickets for the Burns supper are available from the church office. Phone 01273 733331 or email office@allsaintshove.org.

Anyone wishing to support the Save Our Windows Appeal can send a cheque payable to All Saints Hove PCC to the Reverend Philip Ritchie at the Parish Office, Hove Vicarage, Wilbury Road, Hove, BN3 3PB.

Alternatively contact office@allsaintshove.org to find out about regular donations by standing order, gift aid and the work of the Friends of All Saints.

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