Did you know that the Chapel at the Torch Holiday and Retreat Centre (pictured right) is over one hundred years old? It formed part of the Sunshine Home of Recovery and Auxiliary Hospital, Hurstpierpoint, for poor women and girls from London following illness and operations.
This fine building was erected from funds generously donated by a local landowning family, the Campions of Danny House. It was opened by HRH Princess Alexander of Teck (HRH Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone) on 23rd April 1913. The Bishop of Chichester consecrated the sanctuary, which incorporates three stained glass windows.
During the First World War, the Sunshine Home became a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers and there is a memorial plaque in the Chapel to Sister Maud Singer, an indefatigable lady who rendered more than twenty years’ service in the role of Matron.
In the 1920’s, following the death of The Hon. Mrs Campion, the Sunshine Home was taken over by the Church Army. In 1968 the site was purchased by the Torch Trust for the Blind, and the Chapel remains an integral part of the Torch Holiday and Retreat Centre and is regularly used for worship by blind and partially sighted guests, who use Braille hymn sheets.
Archive photograph taken with permission from Torch Trust for the Blind.