Chapel Building Appeal
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Dear Supporter of Lewes County Grammar School,
The Chapel Trustees have felt always confident that we have been looking after the Chapel as Neville Bradshaw would have wished. For example, new altar drapes have replaced fading ones from 1961, the Chapel bell has been restored to working order, organ scholars have brought the organ back to life, and the external walls have been treated to prevent dampness penetrating the Chapel.
However, having spotted a few problems recently we commissioned a comprehensive structural survey. Without going into all the details of the 28 page report the survey found defects across a broad spectrum. They forecast that over the next ten years almost £160,000 needs to be spent on maintaining the structure, including the roof, the windows, the doors, the floor, the exterior walls and external paving to ensure that we leave the Chapel safe and in as good a state of repair as we can for the next generation of school pupils and Chapel Trustees.
Sadly, the current Chapel Trust funds would not begin to address this and equally, whilst the Priory School does a splendid job of keeping on top of maintenance of the Chapel, the level of works required over the next decade would severely test the school's resources which are under considerable pressure already.
Luckily we have had wonderful support from many Old Lewesians over the years, none more so than the remarkable generosity of alumnus Gerry Sutton 1936-1941. At past reunions he has doubled our total collections at the Chapel services, thus enabling us to do so much more than would otherwise have been possible.
Gerry has responded to this current situation too by offering to double any gifts made to the Chapel Trust in the next three months up to a total of £25,000. This extraordinary offer gives us a once in a lifetime chance to raise substantial funds, allowing the trustees, in partnership with the school, to commission some of the most essential work before the end of this year and hopefully leaving sufficient that, again in partnership with the school, the remaining tasks may be completed in coming years.
Gerry made this offer just a few days ago and a group of the trustees have already pledged nearly £5,000 to give the fundraising a tremendous start.
As time goes by there are fewer of us who can remember how much we owe to LCGS and to Neville Bradshaw, and very few who can remember any of "The 55" in whose memory the Chapel was commissioned as their war memorial. Many of our parents and teachers gave freely towards the building of the chapel and perhaps it is our turn, while we still can, to honour both them and the 55 in making the chapel safe and attractive before leaving the upkeep to future generations. We do hope that you can help by making a donation for the ongoing building works.
Every pound you donate goes directly to support the work of the Chapel fund and in this case every pound will be doubled by Gerry Sutton. In addition for those who can gift aid their donation it will effectively be increased by 125% with the 100% addition from Gerry and the 25% tax rebate - I will send a gift aid form to any donors who have not completed one already or who email / phone me to ask for one.
Please help with a generous donation to make this our lasting legacy to our school, our Chapel, our friends and teachers from the past and the 55 whose names are engraved on the memorial stone at the entrance to the chapel.
Paul Hayler 1959-1966 Treasurer
For further information, please contact us and one of the Trustees will respond.