The Bosham Church Fete

Saturday 12 July 2014

The weather forecast had threatened thunderstorms, but fortunately the day turned out warm and dry. As a result, many people turned up to enjoy our village fete and a record amount of over £12,000 was taken.

The setting of the grounds of the Manor House is a big attraction in itself, we are very grateful to Franck and Catherine Petitgas and to Peter for ensuring everything looked immaculate.

A massive amount of work went into making the event a success.  Every stallholder reported good takings, they made it look easy but we know that was because of the many hours of preparation. A big thank you to them all.

The Grand Draw had a variety of prizes to win, ranging from a stay at a top London hotel to a cuddly toy. All of the prizes were donated, we had strong support from local businesses including the Millstream, Anchor Bleu, Berkeley Arms and the White Swan. And Rinskis turned up to personally exhibit their kayaks and electric bicycles, the hire of which was donated.

The main sponsor was Sims Williams, who as well as contributing a cash sum towards the costs of the fete helped with the publicity by putting up, at their own expense, boards showing the location and timings of the fete. Thanks to the various householders who offered to permit a board being erected outside their property, in the run up to the event it rather looked as though half the village was up for sale!  Publicity was further helped by our local publications, Bosham Life and The Village Magazine, who took our poster and gave it a prominent display free of charge in their July copies.

Two of the many unsung heroes of our fete are parish councillor Chris Whitmore Jones and his son Michael. For many years they have made available, free of charge, their services as a Chichester based furniture store to provide their van and muscle to move tables and chairs. A huge thank you to them.

The entertainment this year was provided by Jazz Smugglers and Fishbourne Morris Dancers,  local very talented performers. Many people commented on the music and dancing, and how the cool jazz combined well with a glass of Pimms in the heat of the day.

Well known local resident Steve Pritchard kept the event on track with his compering skills, being in front of a large crowd of people comes naturally to him.

For us, one of the pleasures and purposes of the fete is to provide an opportunity for local organisations and charities to showcase what they do for the community. This year we welcomed Bosham Sailing Club, Bosham WI, the Bosham Monday Club minibus and the police force.

Whilst the principal beneficiary of the fete is Holy Trinity Church, a percentage of the income raised is donated to a charity. Dean Buchanan, the founder and trustee of Datum attended to explain the valuable work his charity performs to provide facilities for education and healthy living conditions for disadvantaged children in Africa and Asia.

Special thanks go to Carol Bishop, who helped enormously with the administration and ran the finances.

We hope that the people who came along enjoyed the afternoon at what was a quintessential English village fete in a perfect setting. We look forward to seeing you, your family and friends again next time.

Stephen Bishop & Chris Pexton