Report - - Our Lady of the Forest, E.Sussex. October 2020 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Our Lady of the Forest, E.Sussex. October 2020


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28DL Full Member
Another place that’s been explored a great deal but not by me.

a solo explore while my daughter waited in the car with the very windy dog who point blank refused to go anywhere near it, confirming my suspicions that he is a demon.

started off by braving numerous spider webs and bushes and found access to be fairly easy. not a great deal to see to be honest, i was slightly disappointed. after a look round i tried a door that was locked and missing its handle. as it was an internal door i decided to have a look round for another way and found myself sneaking down between the side of the church and a short fence to the neighbours property, so of course it was the best time for my son to phone me, good job it was on silent.

after a whispered conversation i continued to the end and found a house. quite an odd house as most upper rooms each had a sink. i have no idea if it was a house or used as a sunday school given some items laying around, there was one room with a bed in it.

the house was lovely and very airy but to get past the main room down the stairs i had to pick my way over dismantled wardrobes at the bottom of the stairs. the upstairs landing area was lovely with the large window streaming sunlight.

so, a little disappointing but one i wanted to see.

History -

Our Lady of the Forest Church was a roman catholic church in a village in east sussex.

It was built in the 1950s. It was registered for marriages in February 1959, but closed in 2009.

President John F Kennedy visited the church on 29 June 1963. Kennedy's attendance ensured that this was the first roman catholic mass at which an American president had been present in England. Kennedy travelled to the church in a large motorcade of police and secret service agents. Crowds were present along the route as well as campaigners for nuclear disarmament.

The parish priest, Fr Charles P. Dolman, omitted his typical 15-minute sermon due to constraints on Kennedy's time, but expressed gratitude that "one of the world's leading Catholics should be with us in our little wayside chapel this morning". Kennedy shook hands with villagers outside the church as he left after the mass.

Kennedy was assassinated in November, just under six months following his visit to Sussex; MacMillan, the british prime minister, subsequently unveiled a memorial plaque to Kennedy at Forest Row Village Hall. Kennedy's visit to the church was commemorated by a small plaque; a memorial mass was subsequently held on the anniversary of his visit for several years.

The church closed after mass on christmas day in 2009. The church had a regular congregation of 50 and 90 at the time of its closure. The primary reason for the closure of the church was a shortage of priests; retired priests were conducting services at the church in the absence of the parish priest, Fr Steven Purnell.

Following the closure of the church the fittings and vestments were moved to the parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Kwadaso-Kumasi in northern Ghana.















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