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Monday, October 24, 2016
West Sussex: snowdrops to adorn Jesuit graves
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¬†A parish initiative in West Sussex will ensure the graves of several dozen Jesuits will be adorned with flowers from next Spring. Parishioners of the Church of Saint Anthony and Saint George at Duncton have planted snowdrops on the graves of family members for some time; but the 23 graves of Jesuit priests, a brother and a novice were bare each time they bloomed. So they started an appeal to raise money to buy snowdrop bulbs. To their surprise and delight, £90 was collected ≠ enough to buy 1,000 bulbs ≠ and parishioners aged from five to 94 assembled in the churchyard recently to have a 'grand planting'. The Jesuits buried at Duncton would have been resident at nearly Petworth, where a large house at Burton Park had been left to them in the will of a Mr Dawes, who died on 28 December 1899. It was used as a rest home for the Society of Jesus until they left in the late 1970s. Most of the graves at Duncton contain two bodies and are marked by large stone crosses. At the grand planting, parishioners remembered with affection the Jesuit priests and brothers who had served Catholics in the area, and they are now looking forward to seeing their efforts bloom in the Spring of 2007.
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