Re-opening of Graylingwell Chapel on 7th March in Chichester celebrated by Hugh Bonneville

Hugh Bonneville to reopen graylingwell chapel

Hugh Bonneville to host the Graylingwell Chapel re-opening

Following community consultations, fundraising, design and renovation works, Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) will be celebrating the re-opening of the doors of Graylingwell Chapel as a community and events space, hosted by acclaimed actor and West Sussex resident, Hugh Bonneville.

Hugh Bonneville (actor in Paddington, Iris, W1A, Downton Abbey and Harry Potter) is a supporter of projects designed to bring the community together.

Hugh commented, “I’m delighted to formally open The Chapel. It perfectly combines the importance of connecting us with each other today, with the lives and stories of those who inhabited and cherished this space throughout the last century.

“Caring for the wellbeing of the local community is in the very foundations of this building and that ethos is just as important today, whether it be through live performances, or the simple act of meeting with friends, or trying something new. The Chapel has a new lease of life and offers something for everyone.”

Events in the Graylingwell Chapel

From Monday to Saturdays, 8am-5pm, the Chapel will be open. It will feature a new café extension, a children’s interactive play area, an open space with armchairs, tables and seating and two interior meeting/workshop rooms. In the evenings it will host a range of events.

The Chapel at Graylingwell Park will also provide insights into the stories behind the Graylingwell Hospital. There will be snapshots of what life was like, the work that went on there and the people who lived and worked there, as well as reflections on the importance of caring for people’s mental wellbeing.

A programme of activities has been scheduled to take place throughout the day in workshop rooms and in the open space.

These range from art and drama wellbeing workshops, inspired by therapeutic benefits in Graylingwell Hospital, to ‘story and supper’ times for younger visitors with a book reading followed by dinner, giving the kids a treat and their parents an evening off cooking.

Live music in the Graylingwell Chapel

In the evenings Graylingwell Chapel will be a performance space, seating up to 175 people for a range of events including live music, comedy and ‘Evenings With…’ some recognisable names, including: Jonathan Agnew, Will Carling, Eddie the Eagle Edwards, Steve Davies and Chris Difford of Squeeze.

Live music will feature a programme of Folk bands touring the UK, including: Leveret, Eliza Carthy Trio and Gigspanner Big Band. An opportunity for fans to watch bands they know live, and those not yet familiar with Folk styles to sample the music.

There is also supposed to be a range of local talent showcasing skills of students of Chichester University in jazz, cabaret, classical and musical theatre, under the tutorage of West End stars and professionals in the music industry. Tickets for University nights will be free to students and £5 to others.

Monthly live comedy will continue the successful run of comedy nights hosted at The Lodge in Keepers Green through the autumn and winter. Each event will host three comedians.

Graylingwell Chapel details

Comments Clare de Bathe, Director of CCDT, said:

“What makes this such an exciting space for the Chichester community is that much of the furniture has been purchased thanks to incredible donations made by so many during our crowdfunding campaign just before Christmas, highlighting how this truly is your space – everybody’s space.

“It tells the story of the history of mental health care at Graylingwell but critically we have focussed all that has been done on helping people feel better today. Creating a space where everybody is welcome to meet, laugh, learn, be entertained and importantly to connect.”

The Graylingwell Chapel will open its doors in early March and will be open regularly from Monday 7th March for all.

Those interested in tickets to evening events or daytime activities can book spaces via the Chapel’s website at graylingwellchapel.com from the ‘What’s On’ pages.

Other contacts: CCDT at [email protected]

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