A special turf-cutting ceremony has marked the start of a project to add an extension to Pyecombe’s historic Norman church.
The Downland Church of the Transfiguration is located on the busiest section of the South Downs Way and receives tens of thousands of passing visitors throughout the year who will be able to access facilities in the extension.
There will be a kitchen, storage facilities and toilet that will be fully accessible to people with disabilities.
Reverend Caroline Currer, Priest-in-Charge, said: “The church is the only public meeting place available in the village, and is used for meetings and events such as parish council meetings.
“We believe the extension and its facilities will encourage the start-up of smaller local, social groups such as coffee mornings and informal meetings.
In addition, the toilet facilities will encourage greater links with the many hundreds of charities and groups who organise sponsored walks, bike rides and the challenges along the South Downs Way.”
The church is famous for its centrally hinged ‘Tapsel Gate’, which incorporates a design of the famous Pyecombe crook, which was made in the former blacksmith’s forge opposite the churchyard.