St Nicholas’, Worth is a Grade I tenth-century Anglo-Saxon church of national importance and international interest, and is one of the oldest churches in England in continuous use and is open every day.
Our current parish-wide project will improve facilities in both our churches, in particular we hoped to improve accessibility into and throughout our buildings, to enable more people to come and enjoy them and to worship in them.
- Click here to understand why we need to do this
- Click here to open the the full architectural plans in a new tab
At St Nicholas’, we hoped to rebuild the (only) access path to the church, to give it a gentler incline than at present, with a permeable resin-bound surface wide enough for wheelchair users. This rebuilt path would continue around the church and down into a new memorial garden, for the interment of ashes, to be built on land given to us for this purpose.
However, as of July 2020, anyone currently going to St Nicholas’ Church will immediately see that no work has been done to improve access to the building. Although the Diocesan Advisory Committee approved our proposals, Crawley Planning Committee opposed the scheme.
If a visitor does brave the path, however, they will see repairs underway on the spire and tower to prevent water getting in. This will be followed by roof tile replacement, scheduled for completion in mid-October. Early August will also see work start on the Memorial Garden now that various permissions have been granted.
Inside St Nicholas’, plans are that a new ramp will lead through the west door into the Nave, and at the west end of the Nave, a fully-accessible lavatory will be built on one side, under the gallery, and on the other side, a small kitchen with a wheelchair-height serving hatch. These developments will greatly assist those who come to the church aided by a stick, a walking frame, in a wheelchair or with a pushchair. It will also help at funerals, for those making their final journey along our path.
Our present congregation has members from every decade in life and we welcome visitors from near and far but we are aware of those who, at present, are unable to make their way safely down the path and into the building. These developments will also enable us to make St Nicholas’ as dementia-friendly as possible. The new path around the church and into the new memorial garden will provide access to hitherto inaccessible parts of the churchyard and the new memorial garden will be of great benefit to all residents of the parish, whether they are churchgoers or not.
We believe the works at St Nicholas’ will cost around £154,000 of which, so far, we have obtained through fundraising, donations and legacies, just over £77,000, leaving around £77,000 to find. We are having to put this internal reorganization on hold due to the high cost involved. If you would like to donate towards this project, we would be hugely grateful. Our building would really benefit from a toilet!! Our bank details are: Parish of Worth, Pound Hill & Maidenbower, Sort Code: 40-18-22 Account Number: 61223372. Please use the reference: “St N project” for your donation. Many thanks.