Sidlesham church in bid to raise £300,000

Residents have launched a campaign to raise a total of around £300,000 to build new facilities at a church in Sidlesham.

Dame Jenifer Trimble is heading the campaign to build a new small room, catering facilities, office and lavatories at St Mary Our Lady Church.

Dame Trimble, who sits on the parochial church council, helped to launch the effort at the village’s recent summer fair

She said: “We get people in for funerals and weddings and we have concerts at the church, but we do not have any comfort to provide for people.

“We have raised £150,000 already and we are hoping to match that funding. Some of it will be raised from local events and also from applying to various organisations.

“The parochial church council has been talking about this for three or four decades. We have already opened the south door which was bricked up, to give the church disabled access.”

Campaigners hope to have a new building a few feet away from the south side of the church to provide the new facilities. They are aiming to raise the money needed for the project in two years.

Reverend Stephen Guise at St Mary Our Lady Church said the plans for the new facilities were in their early stages.

He added: “We had a very good launch in church and a lot of support and positive feedback.”

The campaign was launched during the village’s summer fair where a concert was held to get the fundraising ball rolling.

Music of classical sacred anthems and a variety of light music including African songs and songs by Flanders and Swann and Abba.

This was performed by Off Centre – a local choir run by Nicki Bennison for more than 20 years, which has raised money for many charities in that time.

For information about the campaign or to donate money to the cause, contact Dame Trimble on 01243 641328.