Over recent years, historic St John sub Castro Church, in Abinger Place, Lewes, has had to spend many thousands of pounds on urgent repairs and necessary improvements, including the provision of disabled access.
This has virtually exhausted its reserves, and used up the Restoration Fund which has been generously supported by so many.
It was therefore a big blow when two years ago an architect’s report revealed that a further £300,000 had to be spent urgently to make the building sound, including re-roofing the nave and tower.
With little prospect of the small though active congregation being able to pay for this, the future seemed bleak.
But now the outlook changed dramatically with the recent announcement of the award of a grant of £100,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards these repairs.
A condition of the grant is that St John’s must raise a further £7,500 by the end of next March.
This is another mountain to climb, but there is hope that this can be achieved by further appeals for donations and holding more fund-raising events.
At the same time there has been an exciting proposal to unite St John sub Castro, St Michael’s, South Malling, and Southover Churches into a single church – to be known as Trinity Church – with the obvious benefits of combining the skills and resources of the three churches.