Stonepillow sad to announce death of it's founder
17th June 2019
Stonepillow are very sad to announce the death of the Reverend Hilary Parsons. Hilary founded the charity, formerly known as St Richard of Chichester Christian Care Association, in 1989 following the death of a young homeless man in Chichester.
Hilary was one of two Deacons at St. Richard’s Catholic Church in Cawley Road and held a meeting to see how they could provide practical support to homeless people in the city. He decided a hostel was needed and the Carmelite nuns from the convent in Hunston (which is now the Chichester Free School) came to the rescue and gifted the charity the gardener’s cottage across the road which is known as St Joseph’s. You can read Hilary's story here, in his own words.
Today, St Joseph’s is home to Stonepillow’s 17 bed 24-hour hostel, and 2019 marks the charity’s 30th anniversary. Over the last three decades, they have expanded their services to support the growing number of people who find themselves on the streets. Stonepillow provides a range of services in Chichester, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton including day centres, hostels, a recovery service, supported housing and two charity shops. They also give people the opportunity to learn new skills and access education, training and employment.
Clare Apel, Stonepillow Trustee, says: ‘Hilary was a wonderfully caring and spiritual man. He had great compassion and was very much loved by everyone who met him. He was greatly missed when he moved to The New Forest some years ago’.
Stonepillow work with over 130 people every single day, empowering them to rebuild their lives and find independent accommodation they can call home. Without Hilary’s vision and determination, there would not be a charity working with homeless people in Chichester and Arun and we are hugely grateful to him.
Stonepillow will be hosting a community thank you event in Chichester on Saturday 7th September 2019 and to mark 30 years and commemorate Hilary Parsons.