Hurst Green catholic church shuts doors for good

A village church has closed after more than 45 years serving parishioners.

Our Lady Help of Christians, at Hurst Green, closed it's doors for the final time earlier this month.

Father Michael Creech, who is also the incumbent of churches at Burwash and Heathfield, told the Observer: "When the churches were built, people did not have cars and did not go such distance and there's quite a few catholic churches in the area.

"Secondly there's the numbers situation and then also of course the maintenance of the building.

"It's excessively high to maintain a church building nowadays.

The unusually-designed church was built in the early 1960s in the grounds of Lord Longford's home and contains memorial plaques to him, his wife and one of their daughters.

The small building could only cater for a limited congregation, with numbers of around 40 regularly attending from various parishes.

The Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton are currently considering what to do with the building.

Fr Creech said: "It is sad. Since Easter the Post Office and the shop have also closed at Hurst Green.

"But nowadays if people live in Hurst Green they go 10 miles out to do their shopping."

He added: "I would to thank the people for the brave way in which they have accepted it.

"The people have been wonderful in accepting the situation."

The final Mass saw the church decorated with red and white tulips and the uplifting service, which included lots of music, was devised by some of the parishioners themselves.

It was attended by the priests of the deanery as well as Rev Robert Dixon, rector of Etchingham and Hurst Green C of E churches.

Father Michael assured the congregation that he would always be available in time of need.