A man in fine voice

Rouser 2013
Rouser 2013

Meet Frank Jacobs, 68, who was in the choir of St John sub Castro Church, Lewes, for 35 years-plus. The Express pictured him receiving the Royal College of Church Music’s medal for long and loyal service.

The Church of St John sub Castro was built in 1839 on the site of an 11th century Saxon church.

In the churchyard is a memorial to Finnish prisoners from the Crimean War who died while confined in Lewes Naval Prison.

In the early 19th century there was significant housing development in the St John’s area of the town. The original church had only 260 seats, totally inadequate for a parish whose population had trebled over a 30-year period to more than 2,300 and continued to grow.

Concluding that it was impractical to extend the old church, the rector, Peter Guerin Crofts the Younger, had it demolished and a new one built on the site.The 1851 religious census of Sussex reported the population of the parish at 2,485, and the average attendance at evening service at 800.