Worthing Catholic church to be closed and sold in parish shake-up

One of Worthing’s Catholic churches is set to be sold in a radical shake-up of the town’s parishes.

The Catholic Church of St Charles Borromeo, in Chesswood Road, will be put up for sale along with its presbytery, hall, car park and surrounding land to raise funds for repairs at St Mary of the Angels in Worthing.

The parish hall at Monks Farm in Lancing will also be sold.

Alongside the sales, the two local parishes – Worthing and East Worthing/Lancing – will be joined together in what the Church calls an ‘extinctive union’.

The Catholic Church of St Charles Borromeo, Worthing. Pic: Google SUS-211006-150217001

A spokesman for the Arundel and Brighton Catholic Diocese said: “The Diocese is fortunate to have a flourishing Catholic community in Worthing served by three churches, St Mary of the Angels and St Michael’s in Worthing and The Holy Family in Lancing.

“St Charles Borromeo in East Worthing has been closed for worship since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision has been made not to re-open the church, which is only a short distance from St. Mary of the Angels.

“The sale of the St Charles Borromeo site will help to ensure the mission of the Catholic Church in Worthing, with funds from the sale facilitating the building of a new hall at Holy Family, Lancing, and the repair of the Grade 2 listed St. Mary of the Angels.”

The St Mary of the Angels’ newsletter has informed its parishioners repairs of the church will include work on the roof, which is expected to ‘easily cost £500,000’.

The Catholic Church of St Charles of Borromeo was built on the corner of Ham Road and Chesswood Road in 1962, for the princely sum of £35,329.

While under construction, worshippers gathered at the Dolphin Inn in Dominion Road – now a Tesco Express – leading to a carved dolphin being placed at the entrance to the church as a reminder of that community spirit.