Church restoration appeal for £20,000

Scaffolding at St Mary de Haura for the west wall restoration
Scaffolding at St Mary de Haura for the west wall restoration
  • Medieval masonry at St Mary de Haura is crumbling away
  • Delayed restoration works ‘cannot wait any longer’
  • Donations needed to add to £7,500 grant funding
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AN appeal for £20,000 has been launched to pay for vital repair work at a Shoreham church.

Extensive restoration is needed to the west wall of St Mary de Haura Church, in the town centre, and grants in the region of £7,500 have been secured.

Churchwarden Ian Tompkin said: “This is important work which is long overdue. We do need to secure a further £20,000, which meets the total costs, allowing for any additional work which may arise out of the restoration work.”

Works will include raking out and the resettlement of the stone, allowing for the cutting out of badly-decayed areas and replacement with new stone work.

The stone hood moulding around the west window will be restored, involving the cutting out and replacement of stone work which is the original carving from the west door of the medieval ruined nave.

There will also be masonry repairs to the upper windows on the south side of the south transept, which involve internal and possibly external scaffolding.

The important work on the west wall has been deferred for several years. We now find that the time has arrived when this work cannot be delayed any longer, without placing the condition of the masonry in a condition of danger

Churchwarden Ian Tompkin

Mr Tompkin said: “This work is important and delayed as a result of other pressing restoration needs. It presents to us the opportunity of restoring the west wall, conservation of the heritage of the church, which is at the heart and centre of the our town.”

The wall was built at the end of the 17th century, using masonry taken from the ruined medieval nave.

Internally, it is composed of Norman masonry, and externally, it is a mixture of stone with extensive flintwork, sections of 17th century yellow and red brick work.

Extensive parts of the medieval masonry and stone work have decayed over the years, with the stone work of the windows and door almost disappearing from sight.

Mr Tompkin added: “The work will take place over a period of three months and the contractors are Sussex Flint and Stonemason Co Limited of Bognor Regis, working to the oversight and specifications drawn up by St Mary’s consulting architect, Richard Andrews of Carden & Godfrey of London.

“We feel we should let people know what is taking place, as considerable interest is being shown, and we would like to inform the whole town and community about the importance of the works.

“St Mary’s is regarded as one of the finest non-cathedral parish churches in the country and, as with all restoration and maintenance on a Grade 1 listed building, expenses are very high.

“The important work on the west wall has been deferred for several years. We now find that the time has arrived when this work cannot be delayed any longer, without placing the condition of the masonry in a condition of danger.”

Donations can be sent to The Friends of St Mary’s Church, Shoreham, The Parish Administrator, Shoreham Parish Centre, 1 New Road, Shoreham BN43 6RA.