End is in sight for repair work

Vicar, Rev Martin Miller, and the Mayor of Newhaven, Cllr Steve Saunders, on the scaffolding at the top of the tower. SUS-151230-092037001
Vicar, Rev Martin Miller, and the Mayor of Newhaven, Cllr Steve Saunders, on the scaffolding at the top of the tower. SUS-151230-092037001

The vital work re-shingling the spire of a Newhaven church is nearing completion as the weather vane was replaced earlier this month.

The wooden shingles on the Grade II listed, 11th century tower at St Michael’s Church had deteriorated so badly it was feared they would not last another stormy winter.

The church and community raised thousands of pounds towards the cost of repairs - with readers of the Sussex Express responding generously to an article about the project last October, and donating nearly £1,500.

The final amount was funded by a Government initiative to help ‘listed places of worship’ which made a grant of £35,000 earlier this year.

The work has been done by a specialist company, Clarke Roofing, and the cedar shingles have been imported from America. The scaffolding was due to be removed this week.

The Vicar of St Michael’s, Rev Martin Miller, said: “This was a job we knew we needed to do, but couldn’t see how to fund it. We committed ourselves to prayer and practical action for the project. We are so grateful to God for the generosity of the congregation and the wider community, and also for the provision of the government grant. It has been a venture of faith as we aim to keep the church ‘fit for purpose’ for our ministry and mission in the town.”

During the re-shingling project, the church launched a successful after-school ‘Monday Messy Church’ once a month for families who find it difficult to get to church on Sundays. Call 01273 515251 for more information.

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