Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.



G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936), the writer (below), photographed in 1933, at the age of 59, and, above, Top Meadow, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, where Chesterton lived from 1922 until his death in 1936. The house, a Grade II listed building, has recently been put up for sale by its present owner, the St Barnabas Society, a Roman Catholic charity providing aid to Anglican priests converting to Catholicism.

The Chesterton Study Centre, a charitable organisation, is urgently trying to buy Top Meadow so that it can create a memorial to the writer and a permanent international home for itself and its considerable Chesterton archive. It needs to raise at least pounds 600,000, of which pounds 100,000 has been raised so far, to buy and restore the house: British charity laws require that the St Barnabas Society sell the building at the market price.

The Tudor-style house at Top Meadow was built in 1922 by Chesterton, who had bought the one acre of land with a single-storey youth theatre, built in 1912. While he lived at Top Meadow, Chesterton and his friends staged various amateur performances in the theatre, which still exists today, attached to the main house. Chesterton is best known for his 'Father Brown' detective stories and his paradoxical epigrams, but his Christian and social writing has a considerable following, especially in the United States. When he died he bequeathed Top Meadow to the Roman Catholic Church at Beaconsfield, having converted to Catholicism in the same year he bought the property.

The Chesterton Study Centre intends to use the theatre and library for seminars and small conferences, which in turn will attract larger audiences for its activities and generate an income to maintain the property and the archive. The centre also intends to run religious retreats, to rent out Top Meadow's facilities and sell the author's publications. For further information, contact: Chesterton Study Centre, Chandlers, Chandlers Hill, Slough Road, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire SL0 0EA, telephone 0895 251804.

The Ethnic and All Peoples Disabled Group is a small organisation, recently registered as a charity, devoted to supporting the needs of people with disabilities living in the Borough of Wandsworth, in London. It is particularly striving to cross ethnic divisions within the area. The group, whose members number 70, helps members who need carers or medical attention, or those who cannot read English well enough to claim their welfare rights. Even though it is struggling financially it has managed to attract a grant of pounds 825 to buy office equipment. The long-term aims of the group are to find premises for regular meetings, and to employ a full-time development worker.

The Secretary, Ethnic and All Peoples Disabled Group, Flat 1, 68 Ritherdon Road, London SW17 8QG, telephone 081-767 3311.

The Trust for Sick Children in Wales was formed in 1985 to help sick children and their families visiting hospitals in Wales. The trust's first project was to build an indoor play area, a school room and a teacher's study for the childrens' wards at the University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff. At the same place, the trust then built a unit called Ty Croeso, or Welcome House, where families can stay while their child is in hospital. Over 1,000 parents and children have stayed there so far. The trust is now seeking pounds 2.5m, of which pounds 700,000 has been raised, to provide the same facilities at other hospitals in Wales, including Withybush and Glangwili hospitals, both in Dyfed, and East Glamorgan General Hospital.

The Trust for Sick Children in Wales, PO Box 121, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF4 4XL, telephone 0222 743310.

(Photograph omitted)