Diocese of Portsmouth

    Early Christmas present for Isle of Wight church

    18 Dec. 2017

    Worshippers at an Isle of Wight church are celebrating after receiving an early Christmas present.

    St Peter’s Church in Seaview has received a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to introduce much-needed kitchen and toilet facilities and a meeting space.

    The church is one of 93 churches and chapels in England, Wales and Scotland that are set to benefit from funding of £680,230 from the UK’s church support charity.

    Huw Edwards, broadcaster and vice-President of the National Churches Trust, said: “At the heart of communities in cities, towns and villages, churches are a treasure trove of architecture, history and faith. I’m delighted that St Peter’s church, Seaview, will remain at the centre of the local community with the help of a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant. This will help ensure the future of this church which is much-loved by all the community.”

    Adding toilets, a kitchen, and meeting rooms will enable the church to open up its space in the centre of the community. The church’s current meeting space is upstairs, with poor disabled access, so the new space will be a very welcome addition.

    St Peter’s plans a lunch and cinema club with the parish council and Age UK. Other users to benefit are a mother and toddler group, the local sailing club, the WI, a craft club, and RNLI.

    The village of Seaview has no other community spaces where people can come together, so St Peter’s will be able to unite the whole village.

    The land on which St Peter’s sits was bought in 1858 by the local squire to erect a chapel of ease. It was built by a local builder with stone from Swanage, in Dorset. In 1907 the church was consecrated, and became a separate parish.

    It was gradually extended, with the addition of choir stalls and a rood screen. In 1921 the Lady Chapel and south aisle were completed as a memorial to the men from Seaview who lost their lives in the First World War. In the late 1960s, a choir vestry, sacristy and flower vestry were added.

    Sylvia Beardsmore, Church Warden at St Peter’s church, said: “For many years the lower ground floor of the church has been used only for storage, and was really too damp even for that. The grant we have received from the National Churches Trust will enable us to transform this space into a useable and living space for the whole community. Thank you.”