Church for sale as it puts faith in future more space needed

Church leaders are explaining why “For Sale” signs have appeared outside their meeting place after 241 years of people sharing their faith there.

The Cuckfield Baptist Church is up for sale
The Cuckfield Baptist Church is up for sale

The invitation to buy has provoked interest in Cuckfield since it was placed outside Cuckfield Baptist Church, which was first established in the area in 1772.

But the church says far from planning to close it is doing so well that it would like to expand because its popularity means it needs more space.

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The chapel has been previously expanded, in the 1960s, but church leaders have decided it is too small to meet future needs.

It plans to sell the building and create another, more modern and spacious, church.

David Sprouse, the pastor of the church said: “If you have been inside our church building on Polestub Lane you will know that it is long and narrow.

“This means that not only are there times when we don’t have sufficient space for our Sunday morning congregation but even when we do it feels quite squashed.

“Although it has served the church well for many generations the building places many limitations on us and our only other meeting room is a second hand portable building which is well past its use –by date.

“We are excited by the prospect of new premises which will help us further serve the village as we continue to serve God as a church.”

The church has already been granted full planning permission by Mid Sussex District Council to rebuild in its car park at the end of Polestub Lane.

It says that integral to the realisation of these plans is their ability to sell the chapel, for which they have already been granted separate planning permission for conversion into a four-bedroom house. The congregation would use temporary accomodation in the village should building work start.

Meanwhile it is business as usual on the site.

Mr Sprouse said of the church ‘bucking’ the trend of closures and expanding: “Actually it isn’t only the Baptists.

“Many churches in Mid Sussex have been recently expanding their premises and others have plans to do so.

“For our all supposed self sufficiency these days, our biggest need is always for God.”