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Ancient Sussex church to be restored
An Anglo-Saxon church dating back almost 1,000 years is to be saved by a £400,000 restoration project.
The Churches Conservation Trust is set to come to the rescue of the historic St Botolph’s in Botolphs, near Shoreham, which needs extensive repairs to its roof and external walls.
The grade I listed church, which was once known as St Peter’s by the Old Bridge, will become the eighth Sussex church to fall under the care of the trust, which steps in when historically-important sites can no longer continue as parish churches.
St Botolph’s will close for public worship this month but it is hoped that it will be reopened for special services such as Christmas and Easter once work is completed.
It is anticipated the work will take a minimum of 12 months to complete.
A public meeting will be held tomorrow (April 17) at the church from 7.30pm, where the trust will explain the work and ways in which local volunteers can get involved.
The church is a simple building on an Anglo-Saxon site with a Horsham Slab roof and the remains of 11th century wall paintings on the chancel arch.
'Ancient and rare'
Urgent repairs costing almost £400,000 are set to start in October to ensure the building is made watertight by repairing the roof, external walls and drainage.
Among the churches currently under the trust’s care are the 800-year-old St Peter’s Church in Preston Drove, Brighton, and the Regency St Andrew’s Church in Waterloo Street, Hove.
Peter Aiers, from The Churches Conservation Trust, said St Botolph’s was “extremely ancient and rare”.
He added: “Its positioning makes it a perfect stop-off point for walkers on the South Downs Way.
“We are looking forward to working with the local community to support the day-to-day running of the building and to secure its long-term future for the enjoyment of future generations.”
A Diocese of Chichester spokeswoman said: “The diocese and parish have been working with the church commissioners to establish a way to protect this grade I listed building so that future generations of people will be able to enjoy it.”
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