FOR the last 18 months, Fr. Cyril Plummer, parish priest of Our Lady Immaculate and St. Philip Non, Uckfield, Sussex, has been working energetically to raise the fabric of his church on the foundations dug and laid by his parishioners a year ago last Easter.
Last week, this physical task of literally building his own parish church was blessed on its completion by Bishop Cowderoy of Southwark.
Starting from the altar which he commissioned from Joseph Cribb, Fr. Plummer then bought a prefabricated roof to cover altar and congregation. He has since been working with three masons to enclose the whole with waits of recast Cotswold stone.
By designing and building the church himself with direct labour Fr. Plummer was able to commission local craftsmen and artists to co-operate with him in making the tabernacle. reredos, font. Lady altar. altar furnishings, and wall paintings. Money that would normally have been spent on plaster and paint has gone into the imposing reredos, panels of examples of the Eucharist from the Old and New Testaments divided by a large but serene and not overpowering crucifix.
The altar stands free with an imposing tabernacle built into the fabric of the wall beneath the crucifix. This is flanked by nickel silver sanctuary lights. The whole impression is of a broad church that is high in the centre but on a human scale at each side. where the font and Lady altar stand.
Fr. Plummer was able to find three painters. two silversmiths. a metalworker, and three woodworkers each in his way able to do good work for this church. And it is all paid for-by a small mission parish.