AN ANCIENT church, which was seriously damaged in a major fire four years ago, has been recognised for its restoration work.
The restoration of Whatlington Parish Church was entered into the Ecclesiastical section of the Sussex Heritage Trust Awards 2014 and was one of two entries shortlisted.
Representatives from the church attended an awards ceremony at Pangdean Barns, Pyecombe, earlier this month where the church restoration won an award.
The group received a slate plaque, which will be affixed to the church, and certificates will be given to all the craftsmen and women involved in the project.
Speaking about the restoration, the judges said: “A wonderful opportunity has been taken to make massive improvements to an ancient church by the conservation of old oak rafters and posts.
“A similar palette of re used materials in the nave and the salvaging of the original floor tiles to re-tile the chancel, all adds to the calmness within.”
Jeffrey Bridges, churchwarden at Whatlington Church, said: “We are very pleased to have received this award which is a credit to everyone who was involved with the restoration over the three years between July 2010 and November 2013.”
This week the church received the new needlework items to replace those lost in the fire.
These include a red cushion for the bishop’s seat with the dragon, representing the Anglo-Saxon flag, with the wording Harold Rex Anglorum,(Harold King of England) and the words Whatlington 1066, recording the fact that Harold was Lord of the Manor of Whatlington in 1066, as recorded in the Domesday Book.
The altar rail kneeler is in three sections and shows the Whatlington Communion Chalice which dates from 1623 and is still in weekly use.
All these needlework items were made by Jacksons of Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire to the church’s own general designs.
Meanwhile St Stephen’s Church in Bexhill gifted a banner, made for Whatlington Church by the ladies of the needlework group.
A retired priest from St Stephen’s, Rev Angela Cooke, takes some services when Whatlington’s own priest is unavailable.
Whatlington Church will hold its Patronal Festival at the weekend. The decorated church will be open between 2-4.30pm tomorrow (Saturday) and on Sunday there will be a Patronal Evensong at 6pm in the church, followed by light refreshments.