6. Early 1960s

16 March 1963 – appeal launched and booklet produced with a message from the Bishop of Chichester Roger, and message from the Vicar of Rottingdean D Milva Walters, & Frederick Massey of Saltdean.

Sign for site of new Church

The site - was made available by the generosity of Mrs Dorothy Neville in memory of the late C W Neville. ‘Anticipated cost £35,000. £8,000 already raised, £5,000 from the Diocese of Chichester, need to find the balance of £22,000. Become a Friend of St Nicholas, make a donation, Envelope Scheme, Deed of Covenant, St Nicholas Money Box (for odd coinage), make a will. Mothers Union Pew Fund.’
Members of the Church Appeals Committee: Chairman The Vicar, Lay Vice Chairman Mr C W Dear, Ex Offico Rev F Massey and Deputy Warden Mr R W King; Joint Hon Sec: Mr R R Beavis,& Mr J McCormack, Hon Treasurer Mr W H Harding, Mrs Chatfield, Mrs Kemm, Messrs. W J B Colbourne, A Ivor-Jones, S Jones, C W Riddle, R W Sutcliffe, L Whanslaw,

6 December 1963 - St Nicholas Day at 3pm gathered at the spot of the high alter of the new Church will be. Mr R C Neville said ‘On behalf of my mother Mrs Dorothy Neville and of the Saltdean Estate Company, we are pleased to give this site for the erection of a new Church of St Nicholas Saltdean. May God bless your work.’ Mr C W Dear called on the oldest surviving member of the Appeal Committee of the original St Nicholas Church Committee to cut the first sod. ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, I cut this sod remembering with gratitude the good fellowship of these men and women,who helped to found the Church of St Nicholas in Saltdean and in the sure faith that from this spot, Holy Worship shall be offered to the Glory of God. Amen.’ The Vicar pronounced the blessing.

14 December 1963- St Nicholas Feast a day of snow, frost, cold winds and icy roads.

December 1963 – East Saltdean added to the Parish of Rottingdean

Foundation Stone

25 April 1964 - Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony. By the Rt Rev the Lord Bishop of Chichester. Headed by the Cross bearers of St Nicholas and St Margaret’s, junior choir, the two church choirs, members of both branches of the Mothers Union, Young Wives, Clergy from various parishes, Church Councillors, Church Wardens, Deputy Wardens, the Red Cross, Women’s Institute, Towns Women’s Guild, Saltdean Residents Association, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides Red Coats from the Ocean Hotel and other local bodies. 14 years ago (1950) the founder members of St Nicholas Church had gathered for a similar ceremony, then there were few houses and the field stretched away to the Downs; now there are houses, streets and shops.
A crowd of 200 people gathered in the rain on Saturday to see the Bishop of Chichester Dr Roger Wilson lay the foundation stone of a new Saltdean church, which will serve the population of 7,500. The Bishop said ‘Where there are new homes there must be new churches.’
In attendance were: Rev Ivor Walters Vicar and Rev Fred Massey Curate, visiting clergy, Church Wardens Mr Gough and Mr Harrow, Deputy Wardens Mr C W Dear and Mr W H King, Treasurers Ivor Jones and W H Harding, Sir Edward Maufe (architect) , Mr Wallis (builder), Mr Lovelock (clerk of works).

20 June 1964 - Clerk of Works, Mr C W Lovelock, showed around a party who had ‘bought a stone’ and Miss Jackie Peterson who opened the mid summer fete.

8 May 1965 - Dedication Service - by the Right Reverend R P Wilson DD Lord Bishop of Chichester. In Attendance: Architect: Sir Edward Maufe RA, Builders: Norman & Burt Ltd.
DMI Walters, Vicar of St Margaret’s referred to the ‘daughter church at Saltdean’.
The Bishop said ‘The church is delightful, and should be a very great encouragement to the people of Saltdean.’
Sir Edward Maufe and Lady Maufe wrote afterwards ‘It all went perfectly and the fact there was no sun, did not seem to matter a bit, as everyone was so kind and cheerful. It was indeed a memorable service, which we shall long remember with great pleasure. I am glad that Mr Lovelock was publicly thanked, I have written to him saying how much he has helped us.’

Bishop at the door May 1965

14 May 1965 Brighton & Hove Gazette reported– 'hundreds of parishioners packed the new church to see the realisation of an 18 year dream the dedication of the new building by the Bishop of Chichester Dr Roger Wilson. Since 1947 various times the church had occupied the Ocean Hotel, together with the Fire Service college, an unlit chapel, and the sports pavilion in the Oval. Original plans for building cost £9,000 soared to £40,000. £15,000 is still to be raised. Present the Mayor of Brighton Cllr Walter Clout, the architect Sir Edward Maufe and the sculptor Mr Alan Collins, who is at present engaged on the Kennedy Memorial, responsible for the figure of St Nicholas over the main door of the church.'

May 1965 – Saltdean Women’s Institute – Mrs Sturch congratulated members on the number of Tapestry Kneelers made for the new church of St Nicholas, Saltdean.

June 1965 – Midsummer Fair and Rose Show - Countess de la Warr of Fishersgate near Bexhill opened the fete. Mayor Alderman Jim Taylor presented the prizes.

26 September 1965 - First Harvest Festival.

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