St Nicolas Church in Pevensey, which celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2016, has been awarded £74,900 by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
This grant, together with church-generated funds, will pay for a programme of improvements that will ensure repairs to the roof and rusted windows, and a new electrical wiring and lighting system.
These will be the latest elements of a restoration programme begun in 2006, which protected the church building from the prevailing south-westerly Channel winds and storms. The next and final stage aims to repair internal rendering and finishing, which has been extensively damaged as a result of incoming damp.
As well as keeping the congregation warm and dry, the improvements will mean the church’s many visitors and the audiences to St Nicolas’ burgeoning concert programme will also be able to enjoy the church in much greater comfort.
The grant will also pay for the installation of a landmark display that describes the role of the church over eight centuries from the time when Pevensey was an important medieval seaport. An overall narrative for the church is condensed into a series of six main storylines, embraced by one overarching theme: “For eight centuries the Church of St Nicolas, patron saint of seafarers, has kept watch over Pevensey, reflecting the town’s fortunes and inspiring its community.”
This will be unveiled on completion of the project in 2017.
Welcoming the announcement, Deputy Churchwarden and outgoing leader of the P16 fundraising group George Stephens said, “The church has been on the Heritage at Risk Register for some time, and could well have had to close permanently if this application had not been successful.
“Having celebrated the church’s 800th anniversary throughout 2016, this grant means the church will remain for use by the community and churchgoers for many years to come.”