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‘The Bloomsbury Group in
Berwick Church’
book available
PLEASE CLICK HERE

Introduction to the Berwick Murals

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Berwick Church

Berwick Church is a Grade 1 listed building. It is built on what may well be a pre-Christian sacred site from which there are magnificent views of the South Downs.

Details of opening times and of how to find the church can be found here. Entry to the church is free.

The church is most well known for the extensive 20th Century murals which cover the nave walls, chancel arch, screen and pulpit. These were painted during the Second World War by the Bloomsbury artists, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Quentin Bell.

Every year thousands of ‘Bloomsbury Pilgrims’ who have visited Charleston Farmhouse - the home and country meeting place for the writers, painters and intellectuals known as the ‘Bloomsbury Group’ - take the opportunity to visit the wonderful murals painted at Berwick.

Visiting Groups

Berwick Church welcomes visiting groups and offers a guided talk by prior arrangement. Please click here for details of costs. Our Visitor Coordinator for Berwick church is Mrs Linda Hallums - Tel. 01323 896008. She can also give advice on coach parking and places to eat locally. Send an email





Other Bloomsbury Sites of Interest

Charleston

As mentioned above, Charleston was the home and country meeting place of the ‘Bloomsbury Group’. The interior was painted by the artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, and together with their collection forms a unique example of their decorative style.
Further details can be found here.

The Monk’s House

The Monk’s House is a tranquil 17th Century weatherboarded cottage at nearby Rodmell, lived in by ‘Bloomsbury Group’ members Leonard and the novelist Virginia Woolf from 1919 until Leonard's death in 1969. It is owned by the National Trust.
Further details can be found here.

Further Information

For further general information about Charleston and Bloomsbury, please click on the following links:

Tate Gallery - Berwick Church Murals, 1940-42 (1)
Tate Gallery - Berwick Church Murals, 1940-42 (2)
Bloomsbury in Sussex: Berwick Church

Copyright Notice

Works reproduced in this website by Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell are copyright © of the Estate of Vanessa Bell 1961 and the Estate of Duncan Grant 1978, courtesy of Henrietta Garnett, and are reproduced by kind permission. Works by Quentin Bell are copyright © and reproduced by kind permission of Mrs Olivia Bell.

This part of our benefice website contains details and on-line galleries of all the murals and paintings at Berwick - including pictures of the artists at work and their preliminary sketches and models.
««Click on the links to the left to view them.

The decorative scheme of paintings by the Bloomsbury artists Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Quentin Bell was commissioned by Bishop Bell of Chichester in 1941 at the height of World War II. Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England and former Director of the Tate says of the paintings: "…the remarkable decorative scheme in Berwick church is of national and even international importance. It is, critically, the only example in the country of the complete decoration of the interior of an ancient rural parish church by twentieth century artists of repute."

Some 75 years on, the paintings, all painted on war-time plasterboard panels, are now in urgent need of conservation. The image to the left shows the deterioration of a part of
‘The Nativity’ mural. To conserve the paintings and stabilise their environment for the future, whilst developing the church's vision of working creatively with small groups of vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals, the Berwick (Sussex) Conservation Trust has been established to assist the PCC in raising the sum of £950,000 required. This sum also includes a 10% contribution towards the establishment of an endowment fund for ongoing maintenance and activities. To download a brochure about the project, please click here.

If you would like to support the project please click here - your donation will be gratefully appreciated. (This link takes you to the MyDonate website.)

If you are a US taxpayer and want to support the project, please print the Donation Form that can be found here and send it with your check or credit card details to American Fund for Charities, 2 Liberty Square Suite 500, Boston, MA 02109. Alternatively, you can make a safe online donation at www.americanfund.info. You will be issued with the receipt you require for income tax purposes.

If you would like to receive emails to update you and to let you know how you can be involved in the project,
please email the Trust Secretary at berwick.appeal@berwickchurch.org.uk.

Press Enquiries should be directed to Revd Peter Blee
Tel: 01323 870512 Email:
peter.blee@berwickchurch.org.uk