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Diocese of Chichester
HTH Church front with logos.jpg
Diocese of Chichester
World News

Historic Hastings Church hopes to secure millions to revive its heritage

by Donna Birrell

One of the fastest growing churches in East Sussex is hoping to secure a multi-million pound heritage grant to develop a heritage experience that could lead to an increase in tourism and a positive impact on the local economy of the town.

Holy Trinity Hastings Church, which has been known as ‘The Cathedral of Hastings’ is at the heart of the town and has already secured initial support through a £479,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to develop the project which is locally called Heritage@HTH.

Once initial work is completed, the project team will then be able to apply for a full National Lottery grant of around £4M to create a brand new curated Heritage Experience for Hastings.

The church building has been on the Heritage At Risk register for a number of years and although it’s a key landmark in the middle of the town, in recent decades its stone work has increasingly eroded leading to a poor state of repair. This new grant allows the church to draw up fully costed plans for the next stage of restoration and the telling of fascinating stories behind the long heritage and people of the church.

Jerry Hocking, who heads up the heritage project at HTH Church said, “We are so thrilled to be awarded this development grant. The church holds remarkable heritage waiting to be discovered and the Heritage@HTH project will help so many people in Hastings experience the beautiful cultural assets in the church and also interact with its fascinating history.”

This grant is the latest in a series of initiatives to bring the church back to life. In 2014 the church was re-started with a vision to be a church for the young and non-religious. The church now impacts over 500 people each week through its Sunday services, youth & children's programme, as well as many community activities during the week.

Simon Larkin, one of the leaders of the church said, “This is very significant in the life of the church. Over the last few years an amazing and loving community has been built up in the church, with everyone welcome, and this grant will not only move us forwards to restoring the building to its former glory, but also help even more people access this beautiful church and it's extraordinary story.”

Stuart McLeod, Director of England - London & South at The Heritage Fund, said: “We’re proud to support the great churches which have been at the centre of our communities for many centuries. We are seeing a movement towards these spaces being used in new and innovative ways - to engage with more people and ensure a sustainable future and this project at HTH Church is a great example of this. We look forward to working with the project team to progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.”

Tom Foxall, Regional Director at Historic England, said: “This is excellent news for Hastings. The Lottery’s funding will help deliver much-needed repairs to this highly significant building and enable exciting opportunities for the wider community to get involved.”


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