The Church of St John sub Castro in Lewes has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the second phase of its current repair project.
The money will not only complete essential repairs to the building, but importantly it will also enable the wider community to engage more fully with the Church and its heritage than ever before.
Development funding of £19,800 has also been awarded to help St John’s progress plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.
The project aims, among other things, to carry out masonry repairs to the Tower, improvements to roof drainage, thermal insulation to the Nave ceiling, and installation of a new heating boiler.
In addition to these repairs and improvements, the project will also develop learning projects with local primary schools, establish a ‘living history’ website, trace and mark out the foundations of the ancient church, and develop a greater part of the churchyard as a wildlife reserve.
The project will also look to develop wider and more diverse uses of the building by the community, to supplement its primary purpose as a Church, and its present function as a popular musical events venue.
St John’s is currently used by more than 20 community groups, and with the anticipated transfer of some of the groups from the Church Hall to the Church, this number is likely to increase.
New interpretation boards, guidebooks and leaflets will help people using the Church to engage more fully with the heritage of this ancient site.
Revd Steve Daughtery, Vicar of St John’s, said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support.
“The plans for enabling the local community to engage more fully with our Church and its heritage are particularly exciting, and the repairs and improvements which HLF are planning to help us with will secure this iconic building for benefit of the whole community well into the future.”
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