IF YOU were asked to find the biggest sandcastle in Sussex, you would most likely make a beeline to the beach.

But a surprising contender for that title is the All Saints church in Hove, a century-old building made out of Sussex sandstone.

At least that is what Martin Warner, the Bishop of Chichester, believes.

Today the church has been placed on the Historic England risk register, a list of important buildings in need of repair.

Though All Saints, in Eaton Road, is a place of wonder for many, the Rev Angus Reid said there are signs of decay.

“Holes are appearing next to stained glass windows because the sandstone is falling out,” he said.

“There are some places where the sandstone is literally crumbling into sand.

“It’s quite disconcerting when you’re on the pulpit.”

Two of the church’s spires are starting to lean over because of weather damage.

And some windows have required emergency repairs because of the danger of them falling out.

“Historic England surveyed one of the towers and found a tiny bit of concrete holding it together,” Mr Reid said.

“Churches aren’t built to last forever.

“There are so many trap doors and little passages, it’s like the Lord of the Rings.

“It’s a place of majesty and wonder, at least that’s how I like to think of it.”

Now All Saints hopes to raise £45,000 to fund repairs for the church and build a cafe.

And thanks to its status on the risk register, it can now apply for grants.

“For this kind of thing we’re usually entirely dependent on the generosity of our community,” said Mr Reid.

“These kinds of things aren’t funded by the national church.”

All Saints was opened in 1891 and was designed by John Loughborough Pearson, who designed Truro Cathedral.

The southwest tower on the corner of The Drive and Eaton Road was supposed to house a bell but one was never built.

The Hove church is not the only Sussex building placed on this year’s risk register.

The Church of the Holy Trinity in Hastings has been earmarked for repairs.

The building’s stonework is eroding badly, meaning rainwater is leaking in.