AN EASTBOURNE church has finally had a leaking roof repaired thanks to the efforts of parishioners and a generous grant from Sussex Historic Churches Trust.
The Memorial Chapel roof of Christ Church in Seaside had suffered through its close proximity to the sea, where it receives the full force of wind and rain.
“Five years ago there were just a couple of loose tiles,” said churchwarden Margaret Barr, “but since then the weather has taken its toll and we were suddenly faced with an unexpected repair bill of £8,000, which quickly escalated to £10,500 once the roofing company were able to assess the extent of the damage.”
Sussex Historic Churches Trust awarded Christ Church a grant of £4,500 towards the repairs.
Parishioners undertook fundraising to pay the £6,000 balance, which included various events for the Diamond Jubilee, coffee mornings and social functions, plus a small endowment was cashed.
The Memorial Chapel was added to Christ Church after the First World War and was consecrated in 1922.
Local fishermen placed a memorial in the church to those killed while serving with the Sussex Division of the Royal Naval Volunteers.
Parishioners are now fundraising towards a new heating system for Christ Church to ensure the much used building will be warm in winter.
“We are still using the original Victorian Perkins Boiler,” said Fr David. “It is now more than 130 years old and has done sterling work, but the diocesan heating engineer has described it as inadequate and inefficient, and so it desperately needs to be replaced.
“Just when we thought we would be able to go ahead with the new heating, a small kitchen to provide teas and coffees for visitors, and a much-needed toilet for the disabled, suddenly the Chancellor landed us with an additional £30,000 to find for VAT.”
Next month a series of fundraising concerts and recitals will be held at Christ Church on Saturday lunchtimes, and a fair is planned for November 3.