Lottery support for Christ Church St Leonards on Sea
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded a grant of £250,000 to Christ Church St Leonards for urgent repairs to the to the exterior of the church and an associated heritage community engagement project.
The project will Celebrate Christ Church in the Community by restoring and revitalising this Grade II* listed building at the heart of St Leonards on Sea, and organising a series of learning events and activities open for all the members of the community.
Craigmyle consultant, Christine Buccella, has been working with Christ Church to develop the project and apply to the Lottery. Christine had previously successfully applied for two major grants for Christ Church from the Historic England’s Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage, totalling £280,000.
This National Heritage Lottery Fund grant will allow Christ Church to complete all of the restoration work to the external façade of the building, leading to its removal from the Heritage at Risk Register. Craigmyle is proud to have helped the church secure a level of funding that has never before been achieved.
Christ Church opened for worship in 1875, with the steeple added in 1895. Today, the spire of Christ Church is an important landmark, rising above the town’s roof-scape. The church works hard to support the local residents, including hosting groups such as AA and CA, and street sleepers during the winter months. It is also active at the heart of the surrounding artistic and civic community, welcoming choirs and musicians, and a variety of classes and groups of all ages including our own Scouts.
The plans will improve the neglected appearance of the building, which will also help to improve the appearance of the high street where it sits. Live demonstrations and interpretation projects focussing on the key heritage assets of the church will accompany a series of seasonal events including regular heritage tours by volunteer guides, a ‘heritage hub’ from which community activities will be developed and run, and a programme to involve local schoolchildren.
Commenting on the award of the Lottery grant, Fr Thomas Crowley, the Priest in Charge at Christ Church said:
We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The restored building, and the buzz of engagement around this project, and a celebratory exhibition to display the outputs of our community co-productions, will act as a springboard for the celebrations of our 150th Jubilee in 2025.
Work has already begun on the project, with an anticipated completion date of Summer 2024.