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  THE STORY OF SHOREHA31         THE REALIZATION OF A VISION  
                           
June 2nd, 1894, Charles Marsh Ainslie Tower, who, February loth, 1897, on the resignation of the Rev. H. C. Adams, became also Vicar of Old Shoreham and took up his residence in Old Shoreham Vicarage. On his preferment to the living of Ashurst early in 1920, Mr. Tower's long vicaraage of the two Shoreharns terminated, greatly to the regret of his congregation and the townspeople generally, by whom he was, and is, deservedly esteemed.   More than fifty years have passed since that day, and the fabric has slowly assumed the proportions and beauty of a stately Cathedral, and services have been held in it for some years.
  So far a s the exterior is concerned it is yet unfinished. A lofty tower of such imposing height and dimensions as to require a foundation of sixty feet in depth-already laid-will one day rise at the north-west angle.   At its summit, the founder, possibly having in mind St. Nicholas of old, planned that there should be a chamber where a light could always be burned at night for the guidance of mariners far out at sea. May it be so.
Gerald Holmes-Gore, inducted Vicar of New Shoreham February 5th, 1920 and of Old Shoreham, June 6th, 1920.    
                  The interior of the Chapel, majestic and beautiful with clustered columns, acutely pointed arches, and slender shafts soaring upward to the vaulting, is somewhat reminiscent of Westminster Abbey. In this Cathedral of the South Downs we see the realization of the founder's vision "after years of work and waiting, and the slow progress of a scheme which, in its early days, to many seemed too vast to be possible of fulfilment."
    LANCING COLLEGE.        
                 
It was in 1847 that the Rev. Nathaniel Woodard (afterwards Canon of Manchester) became Curate of New Shoreham. He occupied the Vicarage and it was there that he entered on his great scheme of education, at first by devoting part and eventually the whole of the vicarage house to the purpose upon which he had set his heart.  
  The spirit of mediaeval times has surely breathed here, for one cannot but feel that the handiwork of the craftsmen has been a real joy to them. More than one mason has spent the greater part of his life putting the best of his work into this exquisite poem in stone, and one at least is known to have been engaged continuously on the Chapel for a period of over forty years.
Here he opened a day school for boys, and from this tiny acorn sprang the mighty oak which was to spread its ramifications throughout the country."  
Soon afterwards, additional accommodation being required, houses adjacent to the vicarage were taken as well as others in Church Street and the buildings erected south of the churchyard. In the latter, the College of St. Saviour was founded and remained until 1870, when the collegians migrated to Ardingly, but theirfirst home was for many years known as St. Saviour's Hall, and the name lingers even yet.  
  One learns with interest of the cargo of stone intended for another port, wrecked years ago at the mouth of the Adur, and bought up by Canon Woodard for " a mere song," then barged up the river to Lancing to be wrought by the masons and find a suitable place in the building. But such luck was of rare occurrence, great difficulties had to be met and overcome, vast sums of money have been needed, and have been lavished with unsparing hand, and great statesmen such as the late Lord Salisbury and Mr. Gladstone have been interested in the work.
It is beyond our purpose to trace the development of the great movement known as the Woodard Schools. Let it suffice, that from so small a beginning it has grown to its present proportions.   In addition to the three great Colleges of Lancing, Hurstpierpoint, and Ardingly in Sussex, there are numerous others of the Woodard foundation elsewhere in England and Wales.  
  In the Crypt beneath the Chapel is the tomb of the founder, who passed to his rest on the 25th April, 1891, and long before the Chapel had attained its present beauty.
On the adjacent hillside overlooking the Adur Valley, stands St. Nicholas College, Lancing-the most important of them all. The first stone of these buildings was laid 21st March, 1854, by the founder, and, in 1868, Bishop Gilbert of Chichester laid the first stone of the Chapel.   When at length the dedication service took place, with all the imposing and stately ceremonial appropriate to such an occasion, the Archbishop of Canterbury was assisted by fourteen other Bishops, all of whom were, or had been in the past, connected with the Woodard Schools.
                           
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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002