Historic chapel to play '˜essential role' in community

Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) has made some exciting announcements concerning Chichester's historic Graylingwell Chapel.

Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 9:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 12:45 pm
Inside Graylingwell Chapel
Inside Graylingwell Chapel

The trust has received £14,800 from the Architectural Heritage Fund to develop plans for the chapel. CCDT is planning to renovate and repurpose the chapel into a warm, inviting, multi-purpose space that will serve the community. The grant will fund a project organiser and will also hire an architect to develop the ideas that have come out of the chapel consultations. The Graylingwell Chapel steering group have been crossing the counties looking at examples of chapels, churches and repurposed buildings that have been transformed into working, successful and profitable community hubs. This expedition has been undertaken to enable the group to make the best informed decisions when looking at the repurposing of Graylingwell Chapel into a new community venue for Chichester.

Clare de Bathe, trust director, said: “Graylingwell Chapel will play an essential role in our community here. It is part of the identity and history of the area and the success of this project will impact on the sense of community for people living locally and have a positive impact on the local economy. We are very grateful to have the support of the Architectural Heritage Fund to find a community-led solution for the repurposing of Graylingwell Chapel. We look forward to seeing the outcome of this next stage.”

Tessa Hilder, AHF support officer, said: “The Architectural Heritage Fund is delighted to support CCDT in developing its plans for Graylingwell Chapel. We share CCDT’s conviction that this wonderful heritage building has the potential to be restored as a thriving community asset. Our grant will support the trust in building their case for the project to help bring in the longer-term funding needed.”

In addition to this, two new booklets on the chapel are set to become available at the end of November. They have both been funded as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant the CCDT received. One book is a general history of the Graylingwell Chapel and has been written by a resident volunteer.The other is entitled Stained Glass and World War I, and has been written by Katherine Slay of the West Sussex Record Office. These books will be free to pick up from the chapel, the CCDT marketing suite, and in January, they will also be available from the new community hub and the CCDT offices.

In January, the CCDT hopes to have finished the new community tower at Graylingwell’s Water Tower, opposite the chapel.

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