Westbourne Church Restoration Trust

Westboune Parish Church building needs your help to maintain this beautiful structure for future generations

view of the side of the church with blue sky in the backgroundThe church has stood for centuries at the centre of our village. It is a lovely building, which exists for all in the parish whether they attend church or not and, so that the church may continue to be enjoyed by village generations to come, a Trust was created in 1992 to assist financially with its restoration and repair.

The Westbourne Church Restoration Trust (WCRT) as it is known, is Registered Charity No. 1015673 and it is administered totally separately from, and independent of, other church finances. At its inception, the Trust had around 30 regular donors, many of whom were regular church attenders but other regular donors were/are village folk, who may only visit the church occasionally but who value it nonetheless as part of our heritage, or because they like to walk in the churchyard or sit quietly in the church from time to time, or come in to light a candle in troubled times.

The Trust has made a number of grants since its inception in 1992, the most recent being that of £40,000 towards the £74,000 estimated for repairs to the tower. This has left little in reserve and, with the passage of time, the 30 regular donors now number just seven.

Please could you help to keep the church at the heart of the village for future generations by becoming a donor or perhaps by making a bequest in your Will? As stated above the Trust’s income can only be expended on the restoration /repair of the church fabric. Please help if you can.

Liz Alder, former Chairman, on behalf of the Trustees of Westbourne Church Restoration Trust


Support Westbourne Church Restoration Trust

If you are able to help and become a donor please contact Alan Wright, Hon Treasurer WCRT, 9 Chantry Hall, Westbourne, Emsworth, PO10 8FG with the following information which can also be copied and pasted and sent by email to Alan Wright

1. *I have set up a standing order electronically for WCRT (sort code: 30-93-97 account 02117369) payable monthly/annually for the amount of £………  on (date)………………

2. *Please send a Banker’s Order for me to complete and return

3. *Please send a Gift Aid form for me to complete and return

4. *Please send me information on how I can make a bequest to the WCRT

(*advise as appropriate)

For all except 1 above, please also add your name and address. Thank you for your support.


The current Trust chair is Sue Douthwaite. Thank you to Thomas Blower, Liz Alder and to all the previous chairs for their work and dedication for the Trust.


Overview of the work of the Trust

How strange our villages would look without our churches. They are part of our ‘Englishness’, having stood for centuries with very little change. As  you come down the hill towards Bedhampton and before you cross the A3, and if the sun is shining, you can see our parish church very clearly, nestling against the backdrop of the dark green trees and beyond it in the far distance the windmill at Halnaker. 

One marvels that this view (if you forget the gasometers and blocks of flats which this photo has managed to omit) has not changed much since the 14th century.

Names and dates can be found not only on the tombstones in the churchyard and memorial stones in the church but also etched into the wood on the walls in the ringing chamber. So, whether you are Christian or not, the village church is at the heart of our community, linking the present with the past.  It is there for those milestone occasions ‘hatches, matches and despatches’. Everyone who lives within the parish bounds has the right, in law, to be married and have their funeral service in the village church. It is also a place of worship and, at other times, it is a place of quiet contemplation, away from the hustle and bustle outside, to which people turn in times of trouble, to light a candle and say a prayer in their own way. It has stood for centuries and we hope it will continue to stand for many more centuries. 

But that will not happen without a continuation of the devoted care and attention our church has received during that time, as befits the only Schedule I listed  building in the village.

In the last 20 years a lot of money has been spent by the Trust on our church’s repair and conservation, £85,000, and this gives an idea of the ongoing cost of keeping our church in good condition. Sometimes a major repair is required, sometimes routine upkeep, but funds need to be readily available.

The Westbourne Church Restoration Trust (Charity Number 1015673) was created in 1992 with as its aim the preservation, repair, maintenance, upkeep and restoration of St John the Baptist Church in Westbourne.

It is administered completely separately from other church accounts and every penny raised goes to preserve the fabric of the church. The Trust’s funds have come from the legacies and donations of those who live within the parish - residents who value, or have valued, the existence of the church at the heart of our community and all that it represents, as well as the many who attend the church from outside the parish.


Some of the recent fundraisers

Memorial Exhibition and Sale of Cyril and Jane Shutler’s Art Work, held in the Parish Hall on 23 and 24 October 2021, raised more than £2,000 for the Westbourne Church Restoration Trust. 

A special thanks to Robina Richter, who gave such time and energy to organising and running the exhibition so well. Thanks to everyone involved in putting together the event and to everyone who came..

Robina said: "The weekend was a great success as family visitors, old friends and many villagers came to the service and dropped into the exhibition in the hall.
Stories and memories of Jane and Cyril’s lives were shared. Many enjoyed viewing and recalling the scenes of Westbourne. Others reminisced about past
events depicted in the pictures and posters. The family are delighted that most of the 120 pictures went and to people from the village as well as £2,000 raised for Westbourne Church Restoration Trust. Thanks to the family for their generous donation of pictures, to the 40 plus helpers and all who came to support the event."

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