Church needs to raise £150,000 for extension

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A CHURCH in need of an extension to house modern facilities launched a fundraising campaign on Saturday.

St James the Less Church in Lancing needs £150,000 for an extension to house a small kitchen for making tea and coffee and toilet facilities for the congregation.

MP Tim Loughton officially opened the campaign during the church’s summer fair on Saturday afternoon.

Organisers are keen to make sure the extension does not spoil the appearance of the ancient church, which has stood for almost 1,000 years.

Builders will use traditional materials such as Horsham slabs for the roof and flint cladding for the walls.

The small extension is planned for the church’s north wall.

In an effort to raise the money, the church is offering people the chance to sponsor one of the flints for £5 or one of the Horsham slabs for £25.

Work is expected to start by the end of the year.

Fundraiser Tessa Kelly, 71, of Steep Lane, Findon, said: “Lancing folk have worshipped on this spot for almost a thousand years.

“It’s a very beautiful old church that is much loved by those who use it.

“It’s the very heart of the community.”

Patric Welch, 62, former chief executive of the Sussex Police Authority, is the chairman of the fundraisng group.

Mr Welch said: “We see the building as an opportunity for the whole of Lancing.”

The fundraisers are firstly looking for local ways to raise money, but are also hoping for major external donors to come forward.

According to Mr Welch, the North Lancing residents association is planning a sponsored walk and the congregation has started to make donations to the cause.

Mr Welch said: “This is very much the start of the project but it is beginning to get off the ground.

“Planning permission, architects and quantity surveyors are very expensive, but we must make sure this is a high quality extension to what is an Anglo-Saxon Church.

“We have to make sure everything we are doing lends itself to antiquity of the building.

“Every donation helps in these difficult times.”

So far the campaign has managed to raise £30,000.

To make a donation or for more information on the campaign visit www.saintjamesthelesslancing.co.uk, telephone 01903 750286, or email stjamestheless@talktalk.net.