St Mary the Virgin
St Mary the Virgin dates from the twelfth century and is set in the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The chancel is an excellent example of thirteenth century architecture on a small scale. The east wall has three beautiful lancet windows with shafts of Purbeck marble. In the south wall is a deeply recessed piscina, or basin, and on the floor is a large slab of Purbeck marble. The twelfth century square font is also Purbeck marble with original centre column. The lowest of the three altar steps is paved with fourteenth century encaustic tiles, made out of many colours of clay.
The National Churches Trust’s grant will contribute to a project to create a single storey extension with a community meeting room, accessible toilet, and kitchen facilities. The extension will have a separate secure entrance, enabling its use by local groups. Land next to the church will be used as a car park for those using the new venue.
Top tips from completed project feedback:
Fundraising will take much longer than you expect and plan for it
Once about 60% of the funding has been obtained it is much easier to get the balance because people will see that the project will actually happen
Ensure that the local community is fully supportive and onside by regular consultation
We received significant help form a local group who are fully experienced with the building of village Halls called Action in Rural Sussex(AiRS), and I would strongly recommend any church embarking