Sompting Village Morris: Dancers back in action in Worthing and Sompting

Sompting Village Morris danced in Worthing and Sompting on the same day as the Sussex tradition made a return to the calendar.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 4:06 pm

The dancers performed at High Salvington Windmill fête and St Mary’s Church in Sompting on Sunday, August 15.

Lyn Thomas, secretary of Sompting Village Morris, said the fête offered an opportunity to admire the restored mill.

She added: “Worthing town crier Bob Smytherman announced the morris dances in his splendid style and Sompting Village Morris were delighted to have their photo taken alongside Worthing mayor Lionel Harman.”

Sompting Village Morris with Worthing mayor Lionel Harman and town crier Bob Smytherman at High Salvington Mill

The group was also invited by Father Felix Smith to perform at St Mary’s Church as part of the church’s Celebration Week.

Lyn said: “The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, kindly agreed to pose for a photograph with the morris men and ladies.

“Since the group’s formation in 1978, Sompting Village Morris has had a particular link to St Mary’s Church, Sompting, and the morris badge worn by each member depicts the Saxon church of St Mary’s, with its distinctive Rhenish helm spire.

“Morris dancing has been linked to the church since mediaeval times, when morris groups regularly performed at church ales and Whitsun feasts. Historical archives of ecclesiastical account-books frequently record expenses for clothing, ribbons, or beer, paid out for the purposes of morris dancing.”

Sompting Village Morris dancing at High Salvington Windmill

Sompting Village Morris begins its winter practice season on Wednesday, October 6, at St George’s Church hall in Worthing. The group is always pleased to welcome new members. If you are interested, email [email protected] for more information.

Sompting Village Morris dancing at High Salvington Windmill
Sompting Village Morris musicians at High Salvington Mill
Sompting Village Morris with the Bishop of Chichester and Father Felix Smith at St Mary's Church in Sompting
Sompting Village Morris dancing at St Mary's Church in Sompting