Church’s four-year improvement project highlights a ‘jewel in the crown’ of the South Downs as The Little Church in the Field gets new adventure trail and disabled access

AN IDSWORTH church is enjoying a new lease of life thanks to a massive community effort.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 2:28 pm

A number of improvements, including new interpretation, walk leaflets, a children’s adventure trail and disabled access, have been made to St Hubert’s Church, also known as The Little Church in the Field.

The four-year project has been led by a partnership between the Idsworth Church Friends Trust and the South Downs National Park Authority, with support from East Hampshire District Council and Hampshire County Council.

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Rev Vickie Morgan and Cllr Malcolm Johnson. Picture: Jeff Travis/South Downs National Park Authority

Andrew Callender, chairman of The Idsworth Church Friends Trust, said: ‘St Hubert’s is one of the jewels in the crown of the South Downs National Park and, despite all the challenges of the pandemic over the past 18 months, we’re really excited to unveil these important additions that will enhance people’s enjoyment of this very special little church and the landscape around it.’

The roadside frontage to the church was improved with the help of local farmers, and a new gate was installed adjacent to the kissing gate.

The Idsworth Church Friends Trust, together with the National Park Authority, worked with church historian Tanya Heath to produce the content for an interpretation panel with information on the church and the Idsworth Valley.

Two new leaflets – one recounting the history of the church and the other featuring two walking routes – are also available by the panel for the public to enjoy.

Celebrating the new additions at St Hubert's in Hampshire. Picture: Jeff Travis/South Downs National Park Authority

The two walks were devised by two of Idsworth trustees, Tracy Eggleston and David Uren.

Meanwhile, children can now enjoy an adventure trail activity when visiting the church.

Doug Jones, National Park Authority Member for the area, said: ‘A huge well done to everyone involved in this project and for their hard work and dedication.

Andrew Callender and Doug Jones with the new interpretation and public walk leaflets. Picture: Jeff Travis/South Downs National Park Authority

‘I hope visitors get many hours of enjoyment learning more about the church and walking these wonderful trails.’

The church dates back at least a millennium, having been ordered to be built sometime around 1030AD by Earl Godwin, head of one of the most powerful families in Anglo-Saxon England and father to King Harold.

The building’s foundations are believed to date back to Roman times.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The fresco in St Huberts. Picture: Courtesy of South Downs National Park Authority

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