St Peter’s Church in Seaford records the sound of silence to generate funds

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THE SOUND of silence recorded on to a CD will be just one of the more unusual features of an open day at an historic Seaford church.

Visitors will be able to get hold of the CD, probably for a donation or small charge, during the event at St Peter’s Church in Belgrave Road, East Blatchington, on Saturday October 6.

The recording was the brainchild of Roger Bing, who thought it would enable people to take the calm and contemplative atmosphere of the church home with them.

Roger said: “It runs for 30 minutes.  There is a brief introduction trying to entice people to enjoy the silence, followed by a few words from the Rector, the Rev Canon Dr Andrew Mayes, then the silence. 

“It ends with a few words to let people know, gently, that they are at the end and must return to the noise of the present.

“The idea was to record a silence, but not a total, closed-cell type of silence.  There are a few background noises, the odd footstep, the occasional creak of a pew, the muffled sound of passing traffic.”

Roger said he hoped it would catch people’s attention and raise some money for the church.

The church will be taking orders during the open day if they sell out.

Explore the Church on the Hill on Saturday October 6 will run from 10am to 4pm and give visitors the chance to learn about its history, which stretches back to the 11th century.

There will of course be an emphasis on the religious aspects, including a prayer tree to which visitors can attach their own prayers and hopes, and examples of the work by local children.

But there will also be displays, both in the church and the adjoining hall, depicting its fascinating history, details of various groups which meet there, and also information about the very popular lecture series.

During the day there will be music provided by the choir and organists, and an opportunity to experience quiet times for reflection.

The Rector, Canon Dr Andrew Mayes, said: “St Peter’s has been here 800 years, but we sense we’re Seaford’s best kept secret. We want to raise the profile of our church, and let people in the neighbourhood, and in the town of Seaford, know what we do.

“Our services are of course fundamental to our life at St Peter’s and we thought it would be a good idea to hold this day on our Harvest weekend.”