The ArgusHove church could face closure (From The Argus)

Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.

Hove church could face closure

The Argus: St Leonard's Church St Leonard's Church

A PETITION has been launched to save a medieval church facing closure.

St Leonard’s Church in New Church Road, Hove, has suffered from falling congregations and mounting maintenance bills.

Now the parochial church council wants to consult on its future.

Jenny Watts recently joined the campaign group Saving St Leonard’s.

She said: “It’s interesting how many local people, who are not worshippers at the church, regard it as ‘their’ church and have a great affection for it.

“Many people compare the site to that of a rural church because it’s so peaceful.”

She said people accept that St Leonard’s cannot be sustained as a church only.

She added: “We think St Leonard’s should be a real focus for the community and we hope the Church will agree with us, too.”

On May 19 the Parochial Church Council of the Parish of Aldrington passed a resolution to ask the Diocese of Chichester if it could begin a consultation on the future of St Leonard’s.

The Diocese of Chichester looks after all the Anglican parishes in Sussex.

Now the campaigners hope that when the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee next meets on July 25 it will have helped secure the church’s future.

The Rev Stephen Terry, rector of the Parish of Aldrington, said the consultation would last at least six months.

He said: “Nothing is going to happen quickly and everyone will get a chance to have their say.

“People have a right to their opinions and a right to express them. The parish needs to consider how best to serve the community.”

The Parish of Aldrington also runs St Philip’s in the same road, which is not under consultation.

The consultation is expected to look into whether the needs of the parish can be met by shutting one of the churches.

The Rev Terry said that St Leonard’s will not be demolished or altered externally.

The church was built in the 13th century but fell into disrepair. The walls collapsed but it was rebuilt in the late 1800s.

It contains the ashes of Sir C Aubrey Smith, a cricketer and 1930s Hollywood actor.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:10pm Fri 27 Jun 14

KarenT says...

A terrible shame - I love that church and walking through the church yard. Unfortunately religion is on the way out and serves little purpose these days. I would've thought that as there are so many graves there it would be difficult to just take over the site for other purposes. I would see it as a great shame to lose this beautiful building, but sadly I expect it will be sold to developers, as it really is prime residential location. It will either be demolished and rebuilt on or converted to "luxury flats with church details" - depending on planning laws.
A terrible shame - I love that church and walking through the church yard. Unfortunately religion is on the way out and serves little purpose these days. I would've thought that as there are so many graves there it would be difficult to just take over the site for other purposes. I would see it as a great shame to lose this beautiful building, but sadly I expect it will be sold to developers, as it really is prime residential location. It will either be demolished and rebuilt on or converted to "luxury flats with church details" - depending on planning laws. KarenT
  • Score: 6

2:25am Sat 28 Jun 14

Alison Smith says...

Use them or lose them. Alternatively turn churches into social housing units?
Use them or lose them. Alternatively turn churches into social housing units? Alison Smith
  • Score: -6

10:10am Sat 28 Jun 14

MikeTheKnight says...

Alison Smith wrote:
Use them or lose them. Alternatively turn churches into social housing units?
I would like to see a tesco express there :-)
[quote][p][bold]Alison Smith[/bold] wrote: Use them or lose them. Alternatively turn churches into social housing units?[/p][/quote]I would like to see a tesco express there :-) MikeTheKnight
  • Score: 1

12:06pm Sat 28 Jun 14

rolivan says...

Perhaps they should sell some of the Vicarages, I wonder how much they would get for the one in Vallance Gdns ? I don't think there is much chance of Demolition and they wouldn't exhume all of those in the Graveyard
Perhaps they should sell some of the Vicarages, I wonder how much they would get for the one in Vallance Gdns ? I don't think there is much chance of Demolition and they wouldn't exhume all of those in the Graveyard rolivan
  • Score: 2

1:25pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Martin999 says...

I would like to see them turned into meeting places for the elderly and disadvantaged, with free tea, coffee and biscuits. And preferably no mention of Religion.
I would like to see them turned into meeting places for the elderly and disadvantaged, with free tea, coffee and biscuits. And preferably no mention of Religion. Martin999
  • Score: 7

5:34pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Martin J says...

The Argus needs to get its facts right. This church is not medieval. There was virtually nothing left of the ruined ancient medieval church when it was rebuilt in 1876-78.

St Leonard's is an attractive building, but architecturally it is very ordinary for a late Victorian church - St Philip's, the other church in this parish (further east on New Church Road) is a much finer structure.

Conversion to housing would be a 'win-win' solution. It would preserve a much loved part of the local townscape and it would put an attractive building to an excellent new use.
The Argus needs to get its facts right. This church is not medieval. There was virtually nothing left of the ruined ancient medieval church when it was rebuilt in 1876-78. St Leonard's is an attractive building, but architecturally it is very ordinary for a late Victorian church - St Philip's, the other church in this parish (further east on New Church Road) is a much finer structure. Conversion to housing would be a 'win-win' solution. It would preserve a much loved part of the local townscape and it would put an attractive building to an excellent new use. Martin J
  • Score: -1

8:12pm Sat 28 Jun 14

KarenT says...

Martin J wrote:
The Argus needs to get its facts right. This church is not medieval. There was virtually nothing left of the ruined ancient medieval church when it was rebuilt in 1876-78.

St Leonard's is an attractive building, but architecturally it is very ordinary for a late Victorian church - St Philip's, the other church in this parish (further east on New Church Road) is a much finer structure.

Conversion to housing would be a 'win-win' solution. It would preserve a much loved part of the local townscape and it would put an attractive building to an excellent new use.
If so it will be expensive private housing and will serve no purpose in terms of the shortage of homes for low-income people/families. Purchase of this prime location will be hugely costly, no developer will find it a worthwhile investment if they can't charge top dollar for the units.
[quote][p][bold]Martin J[/bold] wrote: The Argus needs to get its facts right. This church is not medieval. There was virtually nothing left of the ruined ancient medieval church when it was rebuilt in 1876-78. St Leonard's is an attractive building, but architecturally it is very ordinary for a late Victorian church - St Philip's, the other church in this parish (further east on New Church Road) is a much finer structure. Conversion to housing would be a 'win-win' solution. It would preserve a much loved part of the local townscape and it would put an attractive building to an excellent new use.[/p][/quote]If so it will be expensive private housing and will serve no purpose in terms of the shortage of homes for low-income people/families. Purchase of this prime location will be hugely costly, no developer will find it a worthwhile investment if they can't charge top dollar for the units. KarenT
  • Score: 0
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree