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Lottery backs church

HERITAGE experts have given church-goers in Pagham a six-figure boost.


The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded St Thomas a’Becket Church, led by the Rev Mark Eminson, a £100,000 grant towards the cost of repairing its roof.


The sizeable donation to the church’s Raise the Roof appeal should enable work to make the roof waterproof to start next spring to ensure the building is preserved for future generations.


The church will remain open and accessible throughout the project.


Worshippers have raised about £130,000 through a range of fundraising activities. The lottery grant is a major step towards meeting the estimated final cost of the extensive work of some £350,000.


Michael Wake, the project’s co-ordinator at the church, said: “We are delighted to receive this support and are really grateful to, and thankful for, all those who play the National Lottery which makes these awards possible.


“We confident that, with this support, we will be able to complete our project so that we can continue to serve our parish and community, allowing all to enjoy their heritage.”


St Thomas a’Becket Church is a Grade-I listed building and has been in Pagham for more than 800 years.


The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable people to learn more about the area’s history with new guidebooks, leaflets and website content. an exhibition of the restoration project for the benefit of schools, uniformed groups, local history societies and others will also be held.


Michelle Roffe, the head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said: “We are delighted to support Pagham Parochial Church Council and share the heritage of this important church.


“Thanks to National Lottery players, this vital local building will be saved and brought to life for current and future generations.”


The Raise the Roof appeal was launched in September, 2016, after a survey showed thousands of tiles needed replacing on the roof.

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