Hilaire Belloc bought King's Land (in Shipley, Sussex), 5 acres and a working windmill for £1000 in 1907 and it was his home for the rest of his life. Belloc loved Sussex as few other writers have loved her: he lived there for most of his 83 years, he tramped the length and breadth of the county, slept under her hedgerows, drank in her inns, sailed her coast and her rivers and wrote several incomparable books about her. "He does not die that can bequeath Some influence to the land he knows, Or dares, persistent, interwreath Love permanent with the wild hedgerows; He does not die, but still remains Substantiate with his darling plains."

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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A splendid commemoration of Belloc's 60th Anniversary...

Quite a number of Bellocians enjoyed a splendid day in Sussex, recently, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the writer's death. The day started with a High Mass at the parish church of Our Lady of Consolation. Father John Emerson, who is the superior of the Fraternity of Saint Peter in Scotland, preached a stirring sermon the likes of which is rarely heard today. The chief celebrant was Father Matthew Goddard, who is the son of the Rector of the church (which has a very interesting history). Following the Mass we had an absolution at the graveside.

We then had a picnic and were treated to a small talk by the veteran Bellocian Blaise Compton (Hilaire Belloc - A man 'stuffed with vision'). We hope to publish Blaise's talk on this Blog in due course.

From thence back to the graveside for some Bellocian verse followed closely by Benediction. In the evening we migrated to The George and Dragon near Shipley Village. The Inn is very close to Belloc's old house, 'Kingsland', and it was one of his 'locals'. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the clergy who participated, the servers and singers, our speaker and, last but not least, my co-organiser. Our next event will probably be in September and the theme will be: in search of The Four Men. Watch this space.

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