This article is due to appear in the next issue of Billingshurst’s ‘Village Tweet’ magazine.
Small in Stature, Big of Heart
Back in 1754, a small group of worshippers from Billingshurst, whose views dissented from that of the orthodoxy, decided that they’d had enough of making the weekly Sunday trek to the General Baptist Church in Horsham and rallied together to build a chapel. They built it on the site of an orchard, on a small piece of land on the High Street, raised high enough to avoid flooding, but set far back enough so as to not draw too much attention to itself. It’s still here and it’s still an active place of worship and wonderful village asset.
Everything about Billingshurst Unitarian Chapel is small in scale but big of heart. The building itself is built the style of a small cottage using London bond brickwork and with pretty window shutters. Inside, the pews are tiny and the décor is unfussy and simple. The congregation, which still meets twice monthly, comprises of barely a dozen souls but these folk uphold a tradition of working against the odds to keep a small community of people together and an ancient little building alive for all to enjoy.
If you’ve never wandered up the path and explored the Chapel, Billifest Saturday offers the perfect opportunity to do so. In conjunction with the local charity, ‘Forgotten Children of the Land of Lakes and Volcanos,’ which raises money and collects resources to support education in Nicaragua, the chapel will be hosting a craft fair and café throughout the day. All are warmly invited to browse through the Christmas gift stalls and perhaps stop a little longer for a cuppa and a piece of something nice to eat.
Why not come and have a look around? You’ll find us small in stature, but big of heart.