The flag that flew so bravely atop St Mary’s Church to mark VE Day on May 8 now lies wrapped in ruins around the base of the weathervane. The high winds of the Sunday following snapped the halyard securing the flag to the mast and it caught on decorative wrought ironwork where it can be seen today.
John Gurney, St Mary’s church surveyor, assisted by Councillor Andi Rivett, attempted to get it unfurled, but it has so far defied all efforts to get it free.
Prudence being the better part of valour, John has enlisted the aid of Geoff Goldfinch the builder, who has arranged to send his roofer with a ladder to rescue the flag later this week. Then also the slates of the spire, which were damaged and displaced by the same gale, will be put back in position. The flagpole will then be lowered and a new halyard threaded through the pulley, ready for the next celebratory hoisting of the colours.
As some might have been noticed, the flag flown was not the Union Jack. It was the Chichester diocesan flag which is a white ensign with an image of St Richard, the patron saint of Sussex in the top near quarter.
Image Credits: Kenneth Bird , Katie Gurney .