Boost for church

St Michael's Church has faced set-backs with continual lead theft from its roof as well as constant pressure to find funds for ongoing maintenance and repair.

But now the church is celebrating an unexpected boost in the form of a grant and is looking ahead.

Father Stephen Huggins admits the church faces “a challenging future” and needs to spend more than £1,200 on its running costs.

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He said: “A recent inspection by the church architect has shown that there is much work needed to the fabric of the building including repair work to the stone of the windows as well as retiling much of the roof. The total costs for this work are likely to be around £100,000.

“It is clear that a lot is asked of our congregation in terms of their support for the church.

“Fortunately, at St Michael’s we are blessed with a hardworking, dedicated and lively congregation who are responding to these difficult circumstances with typical enthusiasm.

“One of our churchwardens, Ian Fishwick, has been leading the church in its involvement in a scheme called Giving in Grace which was begun by churches in the Liverpool area and aims to encourage us all to consider carefully the way that we give to the church so that it is part of our worship.

“At the same time, our other churchwarden, Mick Gregory, has taken responsibility for all matters to do with the church fabric and its repairs. As a start to this Mick successfully applied for a grant from the Allchurches Trust and we have received £2 500 from them. It is a great start to our campaign.

“St Michael’s is not a big nor grand church.

“It has, however, served the people of East Bexhill for the past 81 years and we are absolutely committed to keeping it open and continuing to serve them for the future. I am sure that with hard work and prayers we will be successful.