St Thomas à Becket Church
OLYMPIC YEAR RESTORATION APPEAL
To all residents of Framfield Parish
Our 800-year-old parish church needs major renovation and repair at a cost of £100,000. Please help The Friends of Framfield Church to preserve this historic building for future generations.
OUR PARISH CHALLENGE
The parish church of St Thomas a Becket is a fine example of 13th century English architecture and a Grade II listed building. Standing at the heart of our community, it's a place for worship, weddings, baptisms and funerals but also a venue for concerts and community events.
This beautiful church has served many generations down the centuries but, if it is to be handed on to the next generation in good order, it needs major renovation and repair work now. Although it looks lovely, especially on a wedding day, look a little closer and you will see that some windows and stonework need repair, gutters need replacing, and the church interior is poorly lit and urgently requires re-decoration.
To complete the restoration project The Friends of Framfield Church, which works to maintain and enhance the church fabric, needs to raise around £100,000. That's why we are launching this parish appeal. We are hoping that everyone who lives in Framfield, Blackboys and Palehouse Common - and those who used to live here - will want to help us to preserve this historic building.
£20,000 has already been raised. With your support we can reach our target and ensure that Framfield Church remains a welcoming and beautiful place for future generations to enjoy.
WHAT WE NEED TO DO
The project includes:
• Restoration of 8 clerestory (upper level) windows
Replace broken glass, restore leading, replace steel fixings with non-ferrous materials (to reduce damage to mullion windows), replace damaged mullion supports
• A new lighting system
Installation of an energy-efficient and reliable system to improve lighting levels and enhance the church interior
• Internal renovation
Repairs to stonework, followed by cleaning and re-decoration to make the interior attractive and welcoming
• Protection of the church fabric
Cleaning and renovation of all upper gutters on the main church and bell tower to protect the fabric from deterioration.
HOW THE MONEY WILL BE SPENT
Estimated costs for the work are:
Clerestory windows £22,000
Internal decoration £28,000
HOW YOU CAN HELP
These funds cannot be raised without the help of the wider community. The Friends of Framfield Church has made an encouraging start and is planning a programme of fundraising events throughout the year. But we need your support to reach our target.
If you would like to help you can:
• Make a donation - large or small
• Make a regular gift by standing order
• Sponsor the restoration of a clerestory window (£2000)
• Join The Friends of Framfield Church (£5 minimum donation)
Gift Aid enables The Friends to reclaim tax on your donation. If you are a UK tax payer, you can make every £1 you give worth 25p more, just by filling in the Gift Aid form below and returning it to us. This means that a £10 gift-aided donation is worth £12.50 to the appeal fund - at no extra cost to you.
Donations are welcome throughout this Appeal year. Please send to: Peter Berry, Chairman, The Friends of Framfield Church, Vicarage Barn, Framfield TN22 5NH.
Please make cheques payable to: The Friends of Framfield Church
To find out more about making a regular gift or a gift in memory of a loved one, or to join The Friends of Framfield Church, please contact us here
HOW YOU CAN GIVE
Download Donation Form here:
- PDF format or
ABOUT THE CHURCH
There has been a church in Framfield since Saxon times but the history of the existing building begins in the early 13th century.
In 1266 the building was largely complete, consisting of nave, north and south aisles, western tower, chancel and chapels - built broadly to the ground plan that has survived to the present day.
From the outset, the church was required to pay a 'quota' to the Collegiate Church of the Manor of South Malling. This continued until the Collegiate Church was suppressed during the Reformation.
In 1509 a disastrous fire almost destroyed the church. Rebuilding was not completed until some time after 1570 when Edward Gage of Bentley (after whom the Gage Chapel is named) acquired the rents and tithes of Framfield on condition that he restored the chancel.
Disaster struck again in 1667 when the church tower collapsed, bringing in its fall the peal of six bells. It was not until 1891 that the tower was rebuilt and two of the bells re-hung. At around the same time, much of the flooring was renewed, the marble reredos was erected, and new pews and an organ were installed.
Over recent years, with the help of the parish, the Gage Chapel has been restored, the bells repaired, and the church porch enclosed with glass doors.
The Friends of Framfield Church Appeal Committee
Chairman: Peter Berry