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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Monday, 15 July 2013

High Mass, picnic, poetry and music in West Grinstead this Saturday...

There will be a High Mass for the repose of the soul of Hilaire Belloc at the parish church of Our Lady of Consolation at 12 PM (on Saturday the 20th of July). This year is the 60th anniversary of the great man's death. The sermon will be preached by Father John Emerson, who is the superior of the Fraternity of Saint Peter in Scotland. The chief celebrant will be Father Matthew Goddard, who is the son of the Rector of the church (which has a very interesting history).

After the High Mass there will be an absolution at Belloc's grave (in the churchyard). This will be followed by several French military trumpet pieces (which Belloc would have been familiar with during his time in the French Army) including a 'Raillement'. We will then picnic and be treated to a small talk by the veteran Bellocian Blaise Compton (Hilaire Belloc - A man 'stuffed with vision'). Thereafter, there will be poetry followed by Benediction. Please feel free to recite your own favourite piece of Bellocian verse. In the evening we hope to have folk music, and food, at The George and Dragon near Shipley Village. The landlord has kindly offered to erect a marquee for our exclusive use.We will be descending on the pub at 7.00 PM. By way of an aperitif, we will be having afternoon 'tea' at the The Countryman Inn (after Benediction). The Inn is very close to Belloc's old house, 'Kingsland', and it was one of his 'locals'.

There will be a mini-bus leaving Clapham, in London, at 9.30 sharp, from Saint Bede's church - Thornton Road. Seats are available on a first come, first serve basis (currently there are two left). Those of you who are desirous of availing of this transport opportunity are invited to e-mail the blog administrator:


If there are any servers out there we are a little bit short at the moment.

Finally, if you are coming, don't forget to bring your picnic!



In other words:

12 pm Mass.

1.20 pm Absolution at Belloc's grave followed by trumpet pieces (the trumpet pieces have been cancelled).

1.30 pm Picnic.

2.45 pm Talk by Blaise Compton during picnic (Hilaire Belloc - A man 'stuffed with vision').

3.05 pm Poetry at the grave.

4.00 pm Benediction.

5.00 pm Onwards - departure for The Countryman Inn.

7.00 pm Arrive at the George and Dragon for food and music. 

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