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Medieval Church bought back to life and into heart of the community

PUBLISHED: 15:24 24 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:21 24 April 2018

The Marsham church undergoes restoration. Picture: All Saints Church

The Marsham church undergoes restoration. Picture: All Saints Church

All Saints Church

A medieval church which had been forgotten by many of its neighbours has taken a major step to becoming the heart of its village once more.

Children from Marsham Primary School celebrate the opening of the church. Picture: All Saints ChurchChildren from Marsham Primary School celebrate the opening of the church. Picture: All Saints Church

All Saint’s Church in Marsham had for a long time fallen by the wayside due to huge restorations needed to make it publicly accessible.

But at the end of last week, fund raisers who have worked tirelessly to bring the site back to life received the news that the building was now off Historic England’s ‘Heritage Sites at risk’ list.

“We noticed towards the end of 2015 there were cracks in the tower,” said Jaqcuie Wathem, the secretary for the parish parochial church council.

“These things take time to get sorted out, and the tower was fixed and restored around August 2016. The project cost £320,000, and we’re now finally able to open it up to the public again.”

The first phase of the project was funded in part by the heritage lottery, as well as many other church donations.

Mrs Wathem, 72, continued: “We want to bring the Church back to the heart of the village, so we’re opening it up to local schools to come and have lessons in here. We’ll have students from Marsham Primary School coming in for maths, history and art lessons.”

But this can only take place once more huge rennovations have taken place within the church.

Mrs Wathem continued: “We’re going to add new toilets and a kitchenette so that we can hold events in the church. We’re also going to move some of the pews in the North Aisle to create a wider area for get togethers and events.

“We’re going to need about £102,000 for that, the most expensive part of which is the floor. It’s a medieval church, and we want to keep the beauty of it when it’s not in use. So we’re working with an architect that specialises in restorations, so that the floor tiles match when we remove the pews, and so that the kitchenette folds away when it’s not in use.”

The church are organising a series of fundraisers for the next phase of the project. These include:

June 23: Tebby Bear’s picnic and Toy Exhibition.

July 7: Local art and craft exhibition.

August 11: Marsham Church Fun Dog Show.

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