Raise the Roof of one of West Sussex’s smallest churches

Raise the roof of Earnley Church

Raise the Roof of Earnley Church campaign

The chancel roof of what is believed to be one of West Sussex’s smallest churches is in severe danger of falling down. The battens are rotten and the tiles slipping.

“The inhabitants of the tiny village of Earnley are determined to Raise the Roof by raising the £70,000 for repairs,” says Church Warden Chris Knight. “We need to ensure we are safe and sound for the winter.”

The coordinated Raise the Roof campaign includes posters, car stickers and letters being delivered to every resident as well as one targeted at families who have held marriages, baptisms and funerals in the 13th century building. A calendar will also be on sale this summer.

“Our little church is at the heart of the village,” says Chris Knight. “Countless generations have been married there, baptisms given untold joy to families, and the lives of those who have passed on celebrated. It is a haven. Open 24/7 it is a place for reflection, a place to take refuge from the heat, the cold and rain and a place for prayer.

“Naturally we are turning to grant providers such as English Heritage, but to ensure Earnley Church is here for future generations we aim to do this work as soon as possible. We recognise this last year has not been easy for many, so a donation of any amount, however large or small, will be special. We also receive an extra 25 per cent on Gift Aid donations. “

The listed two star building has seen much since it was built in the 13th century; to its roof in particular – a bomb in the last War blew it off. Repaired with unseasoned timber encouraged death watch beetle, the nave roof was removed and replaced in the 90s.


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