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Building Begins for the Future of Graylingwell Chapel

After many years of fundraising, planning, dreaming and preparing the incredible restoration of Graylingwell Chapel is on the point of progression.  Following the completion of architects’ design work, by Adam Richards Architects, Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) went out to tender on the 1st May to the four contractors pitching to carry out the building work.

Contractors are asked to present their responses (including details of the practices they will implement to ensure complete compliance with government regulations on social distancing), with interviews taking place in June to confirm their final selection.  This process is being managed by CCDT’s Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors, SMD Construction Consultancy.

Practical work is expected to get underway in July, assuming further delays are not caused by government responses to Covid-19, marking an incredible landmark moment in what has been a very long process.  Graylingwell Chapel will become a space for the community to connect, learn, be entertained and engaged.  A resource that will be so very needed by the time of the development’s conclusion when we will again hopefully be able to enjoy the company of friends and relatives. 

The interior of the chapel will resonate with warmth and comfort, with an extension to the existing building housing a café from which people can take their refreshments into the main body of the building to participate in events; relax and reflect on their own; or meet with friends and neighbours.

The first stage of construction will see the hoarding going up around the building in July, followed by the groundwork and then construction of the beautiful café extension, to be located to the western end of the building. Next will be the stripping out of old services from within the body of the chapel in preparation for the new installation of electrics and lighting.  The late summer, or early autumn will see the removal of roof tiles, making way for replacements and refurbishment with much needed insulation set in place, ensuring a warm greeting awaits us all next year!   The rest of the autumn, and winter will see the interior of the main chapel take shape, preparing for the installation of a living exhibition to the century’s work and heritage of Graylingwell Hospital that will form an integral part of the beautiful space.

“The years of consultation, planning and connecting with the community to understand exactly what was needed in this historic, and peaceful sanctuary have been so worthwhile as we look towards the imminent progression of this incredible project,” comments Clare de Bathe, CCDT Director.  “Graylingwell Chapel will become the heart of the community on its completion. A place to remember the past and to build a stronger future together.   Prior to lockdown this space felt so important, and now it feels vital – an antidote to isolation that we can all look forward to.” For more information on the chapel’s heritage and design please visit the website

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