Culture Spark lantern parades across the Chichester District on 10th June

Culture Spark lantern parades taking place across the Chichester District


An impressive display of willow lanterns will parade through Chichester city centre on Friday 10 June as part of the ‘Carnival of Lights’ event.

The carnival is one of four headline ‘Ignite’ events in the Culture Spark calendar — a wonderful season of events, performances, live entertainment, and community projects to celebrate a momentous year of art and culture in the Chichester District.

The festivities begin at 5pm in Priory Park with a placard-making workshop and whale storytelling show for children. The lantern parade moves off at 6pm, weaving through the streets of Chichester, and culminating in a fiesta themed evening at Chichester Canal Basin.

Performances by a professional samba band; a cabaret trio from the University of Chichester; local dance group Dance and Beyond; and West Sussex Choirs will add to the celebrations at the canal, where local vendors will be offering a range of street food.

The theme of the parade is environmental sustainability. More than 1,000 people from across the district have been involved in creating the lanterns which have been decorated with illustrations of flowers, animals, and wildlife to reflect the local environment.

Back in January, Chichester Festival Theatre gathered 16 local artists to learn how to create willow lanterns from Brighton-based expert lantern makers, Same Sky, before heading out into 28 schools and community groups to deliver lantern making workshops across the district.


Caroline Sharman-Mendoza, Creative Co-ordinator, says: “The Carnival of Lights has brought people from all over the district together to create a colourful sea of exciting lanterns and many of the designs have been inspired by the rich culture and heritage of our area.

“Pupils from seven primary schools in the Petworth area took part in workshops, supported by West Sussex Arts Society, and have decorated their lanterns with deer, stags and wildflowers inspired by the grounds at Petworth House.

“A group of young carers at Tuppenny Barn were inspired by the story of the re-introduction of oysters to Emsworth Harbour and have decorated their lanterns with shellfish designs.

“At the Sanctuary, a charity supporting refugees in the area, participants and artists created replicas of the Municipal Moon, a lantern that was last used as part of a procession to open Chichester Festival Theatre in 1962. We’re very excited to see all of these lanterns and many more parade through Chichester in the Carnival of Lights.

“I would also like to thank our Culture Spark sponsors, Stagecoach and Rathbones Group Plc for their support.”

Following the event on 10 June, the lanterns will return to their hometowns in the district to be featured in local parades and exhibitions, such as Petworth’s Fete in the Park on 9 July. Information on these events will be made available at


Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture at Chichester District Council, says: “This is set to be a fantastic event and we want as many people as possible to join us for this celebration so please bring your friends and family along.


“The Culture Spark programme is well underway, and there are lots of exciting events coming up including the ‘We the People’ photographic exhibition on display at Petworth House from 30 May until 12 June. There’s also two Big Picnic events being held in Midhurst and Chichester on 12 and 16 July.”


Celebrations will be taking place this year to recognise several milestone anniversaries in the local culture and heritage sector, including 60 years of Chichester Festival Theatre; 40 years of Pallant House Gallery; 30 years of Chichester Cinema at New Park’s International Film Festival; 10 years of The Novium Museum and the Festival of Chichester; and even more impressively, 200 years of the Canal Trust! All of the organisations will be holding their own exciting events as part of the season to mark this special year.


Culture Spark will also bring people together to showcase work by the next generation of local creatives – thanks to initial investment into the project from Chichester District Council, Chichester Festival Theatre and Pallant House Gallery.


The full programme of Culture Spark events can be found at:

Midhurst Matters – Spring edition 2022

Midhurst Matters – December Edition 2021

The Midhurst Matters publication was delivered to all Residents in the Midhurst parish at the end of December. In case you missed it, here it is!

Christmas Window Competition – Results

This year, Midhurst Town Council invited the public to vote for their favourite Christmas windows created by local businesses by scanning a QR code displayed in shop windows. An incredible 38 local businesses rose to the challenge and created beautiful, creative and joyful displays for all to enjoy and over 470 votes were received. Congratulations to CJ Hampshire for receiving the highest number of public votes and winning a voucher for Lime & Spice to enjoy a meal out with the staff. Instagram influencer MaryAnn Kauntze @mymidhurstlife was asked to choose the winner for ‘Highly commended window’ and won a hamper of goods from Comestibles Deli, provided by the Midhurst Business Network. This was won by Alchemy Home. Thank you to all those who took the time to vote.

Vote for your favourite Christmas Window!

Residents are invited to vote for their favourite Christmas window this year, as Midhurst businesses join together to celebrate Joy in December and take part in Midhurst Town Council’s annual window competition.

Scan the QR code in the windows of shops, or click this link HERE. 

The theme for this year’s windows is ‘Joy’ and must include an element of lighting up.

A prize will be awarded to the business with the most public votes. There is also a ‘Highly Commended’ award that will be chosen by social media influencer @mymidhurstlife.

The deadline is 15th December and the winners will be announced on social media and on our website.


Applications for children starting school September 2022 opens Monday 4th October 2021

Starting School – September 2022

The application process for children due to start school in September 2022 will begin on Monday 4 October 2021.

Apply online at

  • Applications can be made and will be considered as on time, between 4 October 2021 and 15 January 2022
  • Special rules apply for house movers until 11 February 2022
  • Further information for parents is available on our website now
  • Staff are available to support on 03330 142 903

Midhurst Matters Newsletter May-June edition

Midhurst Matters Newsletter will be arriving on doorsteps at the end of May, but if you can’t wait to receive your copy here is the newsletter!

Carron Lane Skate Park Project

On Wednesday 21st April Midhurst Town Council were delighted to be able to officially open the long awaited new Skate Park at Carron Lane Recreation Ground. The original Steve McGill Skate Park was built in 2001 and when opened the ribbon was cut by Linda McGill, mother of 18 year old Steve who tragically died in a car accident before the skatepark opened. Steve, a keen skateboarder, had been campaigning and lobbying the Council for a Skate Park in Midhurst before his untimely death and his family and friends continued his legacy with fundraising, resulting in the original Skate Park being built by the Midhurst Town Council. Carol Lintott, Chairman of the Town Council, welcomed the small group to the opening and began by thanking those that had played a vital role in the redesign and funding of the new Skate Park, including Chichester District Council and the YMCA, who generously granted funds. The project was also supported by Community Infrastructure Levy funds parish councils are able to apply for resulting from developments in the area from the South Downs National Park Authority. Councillor Lintott also thanked Councillor Gordon McAra and Councillor Jeanette Sutton for their roles in securing grants and consulting in the design process.

Councillor Sutton was invited to say a few words and began by acknowledging that a relatively small town of only 5,000 building a new, state of the art, enviable Skate Park is something to be celebrated. She then spoke about the series of events that led to the new Skate Park. The redesign was initiated by Midhurst resident Jason Woodman back in 2017, who braved the Town Council at a meeting and asked for the Skate Park to be renovated and modernised. Councillor Sutton then helped to engage with young skaters and potential users of the skatepark so that it was designed in part by local children. The ideas were then given to our favoured Skate Park designers, Maverick Skate Parks, who listened and really took on board the designs and ideas to create a design unique to and created by Midhurst. The fundraising for such a project takes time, but thanks to Gordon McAra, the Finance Committee and our clerk Melanie Kite the necessary money was raised to build this fantastic asset, which will continue to provide exercise, fresh air and challenges for all the people who use it for years to come. 

Councillor Sutton then invited Steve McGills Mother, Linda and her husband Tim to cut the ribbon, just as they did 20 years before, to open the new Skate Park which continues to bear his name as a lasting legacy to the town.

Attendees were then treated to a short display demonstration by talented local scooter pro Jordan Clark. Jordan was honoured to be asked to demonstrate as the original Midhurst Skate Park is where he originally started out.

Midhurst Town Council have noted how well used the facility is already and have heard many reports of older skaters showing the youngsters their tricks, giving them space to experiment with each respecting the other and the facility. Please support us by continuing to keep the area litter free and a pleasant environment to visit.