"Another quaint custom connected with the church, is the giving of charity bread. This charity was instituted for the benefit of the seven poorest people of Brightling with the largest families, each family receiving a loaf of bread from the church vestry at the conclusion of the Sunday services. The donor was a Mr. Jesse Gregson of Moor House in the parish of Hawkhurst, one of the Deputy-Lieutenants for the county of Kent. He died in 1821. Almost five years ago the distribution was transferred from the church to a neighbouring shop." - The Sussex Agricultural Express October 18, 1929 – Page 12.
31st August 1825 - Extract of the Will of the late Jesse Gregson Esq Interest of 180 £ for Bread for the Poor of Brightling
Bequest was 200
Deduct Duty 20
Gregson's Charity"I give to the Rector and the Churchwardens and Overseers for the time being of the Poor of the Parish of Brightling aforesaid, where I was born the sum of two hundred pounds to be invested by them at Interest or in or upon any of the Government or Parliamentary Stocks or Funds of Great Britain or upon real Security in either of the said Counties of Sussex or Kent And I direct that the Interest thereof shall form time to tome for ever be laid out in the purchase of Bread to be distributed every Sunday to and among poor persons of the said last mentioned Parish who shall not receive alms or Parish Relief as the Rector or Minister Churchwardens and Overseers thereof for the time being shall think Proper.
J.B. Hayley, Rector"
The Jesse Gregson Charity still exists today and "makes grants to individuals".
[With thanks to Nicola Courtney Bennett]