LOOKING BACK: The complete history of All Souls

Fifty years ago: All Souls Church, Eastbourne, pictured in 1965
Fifty years ago: All Souls Church, Eastbourne, pictured in 1965

A book has just been published covering the complete history of All Souls Church in Eastbourne.

The authors, Peter Wood and Mark Jones, recently held a very successful book launch and signing in the church, supported by contributors and church members.

Peter Wood has been associated with All Souls Church since moving to Eastbourne at the end of the Second World War.

As well as serving as a church warden for 21 years, he has served in many other capacities and is at present church warden emeritus, with responsibility for the church buildings.

Mark Jones was director of music at All Souls throughout the 1990s.

The church of All Souls is a spectacular building in the centre of Eastbourne and is the only Victorian church in Sussex displaying a free-standing campanile, or bell tower.

It was commissioned by Lady Victoria Wellesley, the great-niece of the Duke of Wellington, in memory of her two aunts, Dorothy and Emma Tylney Long.

At a meeting of the town’s building committee in July 1880, plans for its construction to a design by the architect AP Strong, were approved.

Following an Italian Romanesque style for its exterior, Strong chose to base the interior closely on the 6th century basilica at St Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna.

The church took two years to complete and the principal building contractor was J Peerless of Eastbourne.

The book, which is of good quality and in full colour throughout, contains more than 250 photographs and traces the history of the church from 1870, when the need for a church on the site was first recognised, until the end of 2014.

Copies are available direct from Peter Wood at 13 Angus Close, Eastbourne, BN20 9EH, by calling 509383, e-mail a.wood267@btinternet.com or by post which costs an extra £3 for post and packaging.

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