Thoughts for today of churches and sparrowhawks….

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December 7, 2015 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette November 29th 2015

I AM always open and ready to consider the other fellow’s point of view and when a couple of friends suggested I check out the reordering of Angmering’s St. Margaret’s before condemning the work on Rustington’s church, I did just that. It was closed. After a short while I roused a kindly gentleman who told me they were preparing for a function but I could visit for a few minutes. It looked like a restaurant, open plan with tables ready set for diners. It was more like a function room than a place of worship with its polished laminated floors and television monitors for karaoke hymns and PowerPoint presentations, order of a kind but no real feeling of peace or sanctuary. I know that churches are not museums but the very age of many and their existence in any community makes them places of historical interest and maybe it is just me but outside in the beautifully kept graveyard of Angmering, walking among the many grey tombstones, reading the history carved thereupon and sheltering from the misty rain beneath the holly and the mighty yew trees is where I found my place of  peace and contemplation. So my friends, we must agree to differ on this, you to yours and me to mine and that is how it should be…

TWO huge disappointments last week, one was going to Rogues on The Road at Worthing’s Connaught fronted by Mr Test Match Special himself Henry ‘Blowers’ Blofeld and, having seen a previous entertaining presentation by David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, I was looking forward to anecdotes about cricket and all I got was a vaguely amusing string of stories concerning the adventures of a couple of journos on the road. The clue was in the title really and I should have read the writing on the can before opening it. If that wasn’t enough I was considerably vexed later in the week when regaled by stories from fellow ‘birders’ who had seen a Sparrowhawk sitting on their respective Rustington garden fences. One of my favourite birds and I have yet to see one that close.

FURTHER to my piece regarding Pier Road I am reliably informed that the matter was discussed by council at great length and it was the firm wish of the local traders that it remains as you have it today.  

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