Statement of needs
We believe that the church in any community is there not only for regular worship (which remains its primary function) but also as a resource for the wider community. With the nave forming a large flexible space without fixed pews the church provides accommodation for concerts, plays, art exhibitions and even cream teas in August (popular with passing walkers of whom there any many in the area of outstanding beauty so close to London). Currently there is no disabled access, no toilets, no proper kitchen facilities and no meeting rooms. The general objective therefore is to rectify these issues by providing proper facilities for the benefit of the entire community.
There is a strong musical tradition in the village. In addition to the Church choir, two choirs have been based on the Church: The Shoreham Singers, a large choir of mixed ability which sings a wide range of classical music, and Temenos , a small choir specialising in early sacred music. From 1991 until 2012 the Shoreham Festival of Music was based on the Church and the adjacent Old Vicarage. The annual Festival was revived September 2017.
The full use to which the Church has been put in recent years is remarkable in view of the total lack of disabled access and toilets. Our wish to continue and expand our ministry in the village and to make the beautiful building more widely available for the benefit of the local community is severely hampered by our lack of facilities.
The only public toilets are approximately 600m. away. Funerals and memorial services are a particular problem as people arrive from long distances. Services, concerts and plays can attract over 200 people. The George pub is the only solution. The extent to which this is tolerated depends on the individual publican. Currently relations with The George are excellent, but relying on their facilities has been a source of tension in the past and is unsuitable for children. It may be questioned how long in the twenty-first century it will continue to be possible to use the church (in particular for concerts and plays) when there are no toilet facilities and normal portaloos do not provide for the disabled.