NEWS AND EVENTS

Thanks to National Lottery players, the Chapel has been repaired and restored and made suitable for use by the whole community and especially the nearby school with a maximum £421,200 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).   The project has been carried out by The Providence Chapel Charlwood Trust (PCCT) and mainly consists of repairs and alterations to facilitate use by the school.

                                                                 The Chapel prior to renovation 

Re-opening Event - Saturday 6th April 2019 

On Saturday 6th April the Chapel was officially re-opened by Councillor Helyn Clack, Vice Chair of Surrey County Council at an event attended by many local residents and others from further afield.

The event commenced at 12 noon with a display of Napoleonic soldiering by the 2nd/95th Regiment re-enactors who had travelled from far and wide to display at the event. They stood guard at the Chapel and then commenced an impressive rifle display in the field opposite the Chapel discharging as many as half a dozen period rifles at any one time (firing blanks) and demonstrating some of the more common manoeuvres that their counterparts would have undertaken 200 years ago. 

Quote from the sergeant of the 2nd/95th Regiment - 
'Why are we here? - Because this is our spiritual home. This building is where it all began. This building is the start of our famous story'

The Chapel holds a special place in the hearts of 2/95th as the regiment was originally billeted in Horsham barracks where the Chapel was constructed as part of the barracks in 1797 and was dismantled and moved to Charlwood and re-erected there in 1815 to start a new period in its history as a nonconformist Chapel.

The re-enactors continued to display throughout the afternoon with fascinating explanations concerning their formation and unique features and how they revolutionised warfare. 

For those of a more musical persuasion a local group of singers and musicians sang period songs in the Chapel and in between the entertainment attendees enjoyed inspecting the building and learning about its history and renovation from the exhibition and trustees/partners/volunteers.   

A redoubtable band of volunteers kept everyone fed and watered with excellent tea, coffee and biscuits along with pieces of the celebration cake that Helyn cut with a regimental sword! 

A great time was had by all! 

A selection of photographs and a short video from the event appear on the Gallery page. 

Quotes from some of the visitors included - 

'Fantastic job. Well done and thank you for keeping this wonderful building alive' 
'Beautiful building with a renewed purpose.'
'A wonderful restoration. Congratulations to all who helped to achieve this.'
'I am a visitor ..... I love the sense of community here. I think Charlwood is one of the closest knit communities I have come across.'

Our thanks go to Helyn, the re-enactors and all who attended and all who made the day a great success, along with the residents of Chapel Road and Swan Lane for putting up with the traffic and sound and fog of rifle fire drifting across their back gardens - we apologise if we upset some of the local dogs with the rifle volleys.   

 

'Topping Out' Celebration  - 1st February 2019 

On Friday 1st 2019 a celebratory lunch was held at The Chapel to mark the completion of the renovation. 

The professional team attended including Paul Sharrock & Karen Butti the architects from Thomas Ford & Partners, Brian Wallis from the contractors Riverside Construction and Robert Bowles the structural engineer. Also present were our exhibition designer Barry Mazur and project adviser, Marilyn Scott. In addition there were representatives from our major benefactors the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Mole Valley District Council, Surrey County Council and Gatwick Airport CommunityTrust along with private donors, the trustees and partners and other supporters of Trust including Robert Williams of Historic England and .

The Chair of the Trust, Brendon Sewill, thanked them all warmly for their support throughout the planning, implementation and completion of the successful renovation.   

Photos of the event appear on the Gallery page. 

 

Rededication Service - Sunday 3rd February 2019 

On Sunday 3rd February 2019 a service of rededication was held at the Chapel led by non-conformist preacher Michael Toogood. The service was attended by over 80 people, evoking the atmosphere of years gone by when the Chapel would have been full with worshipping nonconformists. 

The Chapel is available to hire to those wishing to hold religious services. 

We're done !!!!! - January 2019 - Renovation completed!

The renovation completed in the dying days of 2018 and we have been given the keys! - many thanks to all who helped to get us here - Paul Sharrock and Karen Butti our architects and the professional team, the team at Riverside Construction ( a more professional and friendly group of tradesmen and staff you couldn't wish to meet), all at HLF and our other donators and supporters and of course last but by no means least our trustees, long-suffering secretary and our Chair Brendon Sewill who had the vision in the first place!  

The Chapel is looking magnificent and with the embellishment of wi-fi and modern heating and kitchen it is all set for another 200 years! - come and see us soon. 

Bulletin - October 2018 - We are getting there! 

The renovation works have been ongoing now for many months and finally the end is in sight ! -

Progress updateon some of the main renovation items - the structural frame has had rotten timber removed and new timber spliced in to include to the sole plate. Verandah posts have been repaired or renewed. The roof timbers have been significantly repaired and strengthened and augmented with resulting redistribution of part of the roof load back onto the front wall of the Chapel, thus reducing stress on the verandah posts. The roof has been insulated and a waterproof membrane added plus new or reclaimed slates and ridge tiles installed. New storage sheds at the back of the Chapel are in the course of being built. External redecoration is nearing completion.

Inside the ceiling has been repaired and painted; first fix new electrical wiring and plumbing has been completed and we are excitingly awaiting our new kitchen installation. The enlarged toilet and baby changing area is in the process of construction.  The wainscotting is being re-installed with insulation within the structural frame. Window repairs and replacements are in hand and our new engineered wood floor covering has arrived to site. 

Subject to our enlarged electrical supply and 'phone/internet cable being installed on time we are now hoping for completion of the renovation in November and then the exhibition can be installed. 

After all this we expect to have a unique renovated Listed building of considerable architectural interest ready for enjoyment by the community! 

Watch our News & Events page for more updates in the next few weeks or keep an eye on our Facebook page.

 

Bulletin - OPEN DAY 26 March 2018!

February 2018

This is just to let you know what is happening at the Chapel, and to tell you that we are holding a ‘Work-in-Progress Open Day’ on Monday morning, 26 March.

Last November, following a competitive tender, we appointed Riverside Construction as our contractors. They started work in late December - since when it has been raining mud! Nevertheless they are making good progress and we hope for completion in July. After that the exhibition has to be set up.

The alleyway at the back of the Chapel has been cleared, and foundations laid for the new row of storage sheds.

All the roof tiles have been removed, the roof is being repaired, and we are glad that over 50% of the old tiles can be re-used.

Inside the Chapel the wooden wainscoting (wall cladding) has all been temporarily removed so that we can see how much of the framework of the building has rotted. Much of the big beam around the building at ground level (the soleplate) needs replacing. Many of the upright timbers need new wood spliced in. The ceiling, which was about to fall down, is being restored. Some of the wooden pillars which hold up the veranda are being replaced, others are being repaired.

Opening up the walls has enabled us to work out how the building was originally built as a barracks, and how it was taken to pieces and carted here from Horsham.

Most of the time the Chapel is fenced off as a construction site – hi-vis jackets and hard-hats – but we are proposing to hold a ‘Work-in-Progress Open Day’ on Monday, 26 March from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm. All are welcome but it is mainly intended for those who are particularly interested in the history of the building, the method of construction, and the restoration work being undertaken. Our architect, Karen Butti, and the Managing Director of Riverside, Brian Wallis, will be on hand to answer questions. Come in gumboots!

We are starting to plan a Grand Opening in the autumn, and will let you know the date as soon as we have got various events fixed.


Contractor appointed for renovation 

7 November 2017

Plans are now in place for the rescue and restoration of Providence Chapel in Charlwood.

Planning permission for extensive repairs has been granted, a main contractor has been appointed, and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, has agreed to provide a grant to cover 88% of the building work (plus further grants to cover the cost of architectural fees and for action to maintain public interest in the history of the building).

 The repair work is due to start in January and last for around six months. The main contractor responsible for the repairs, which will cost over £250,000, will be Riverside Construction Ltd of Tonbridge.

Chairman of the trust, Brendon Sewill, said: ‘This will be an important project for preserving part of our nation’s history for future generations. We are delighted that Riverside were able to submit the lowest tender: they are well known – and well liked - in Charlwood as they have done excellent work in the past ten years in building an extension to the parish church and also a new sports pavilion and community centre.’


Heritage Lottery Fund 

14 November 2016

Work to be undertaken during 2017 will include repairing broken roof trusses, installing a new oak beam around the base of the Chapel, installing a small modern kitchen, and a new disabled toilet. A new floor will be laid and the roof tiles replaced. Some of the pews (not as historic as other parts of the Chapel) will be removed to make space for school activities. A range of small storage sheds will be erected out of sight at the back of the Chapel, and there will be new fence and sign board and CCTV.

The HLF grant will also enable the PCCT to carry out historical research, create an exhibition of the Chapel’s history, run a community volunteering programme, engage the wider community in the project, and install projection facilities and WiFi.

Support for the restoration project has also been given by the Surrey Historic Buildings Trust, the Architectural Heritage Fund, Surrey County Council, Gatwick Airport and other donors.

Charlwood School, which is in the process of changing from an Infant School to a Primary School, are planning to use the Chapel several times each week for study projects and for school meetings.

Brendon Sewill, chairman of the Trust, said: ‘We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this grant. It will enable us to restore the Chapel so that it can stand for another two hundred years, and will enable generations of Charlwood children to enjoy its character and learn an appreciation of our heritage.’

Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: ‘This project will address urgent repairs to a fascinating building that was in use as a place of worship for nearly 200 years. As an original ‘pre-fab’ its exterior is completely unchanged since its construction as a barracks in the late eighteenth century. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, the community can help continue Providence Chapel’s story by putting it to good use while helping to preserve it for future generations.’

What the papers say...

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