"My name is Anthea Budgett and I have been involved with Husborne Crawley Church since I came to the area in 1963 from Surrey where I grew up. My family have a long tradition of the church. My father was a Church Warden for many years at St. Bartholomews in Burstow in Surrey.
I am often at St James Church as I am a bell ringer, do a lot of the cleaning and am responsible for the flowers for the church. When I am there working alone, I always lock myself in. It was such an occasion as this that I had my first experience of Mr. Farbridge in 1995.
|I remember I suddenly had a strong feeling of a 'presence' in the church with me, and then I heard the sound of rustling, like the sound of clothing as people move about. My first thought was to wonder how someone could have got in when the doors were locked. I quickly turned around and caught a glimpse of a man standing near me. He was wearing a full-length black cassock buttoned down the front. It was the kind of cassock that a High Priest would wear. But almost as quickly as he appeared he was gone.
Over the years he has probably appeared to me about 5 times and always in the same circumstances. As far as I know no one else has seen him. When I tell people the story they say he must be a troubled spirit. But I know he's not because it is always a nice atmosphere when he appears and I feel he is friendly. I'm not frightened of him at all. In fact I wish he would stay longer so I could get a better look at him!
I wondered who this figure might be. He was obviously of "High church" because of the style of his cassock. I asked one of the church wardens at the time, Bob Churchill, and he said the only vicar it could have been given my description was Stanley Farbridge who was the vicar here between 1950 and 1952.
Funnily enough I remember a couple of years ago a man coming into the church and introducing himself to me as Nicholas Farbridge, Stanley Farbridge's son. He had come to visit the church and the Old Vicarage next door as the family had lived there when he was a child. He was passing through the area and wanted to revisit the place. I told him about my sighting and that I thought it might be his father. He seemed quite pleased. He said he was glad to think the old man was still about!"