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IMAGE CREDIT: Dr. Jonathan Foyle

St. Nicolas church, Pevensey
Heritage Open Day Saturday, May 12, 10:00am—6:00pm with Dr. Jonathan Foyle

The news that St.Nicolas church in Pevensey is to welcome architectural historian, Dr. Jonathan Foyle, an award wining BBC broadcaster, to give a talk, has excited people with an interest in local history—Bay Life, 9 April 2018

Award-winning BBC broadcaster Dr. Jonathan Foyle “quite obsessed by historic buildings” comes to St. Nicolas church in Pevensey

On his website Dr. Jonathan Foyle says he is “quite obsessed by historic buildings. From an immersive career in conservation, research and curating, he is fortunate to have found ways to share many discoveries and insights into our ancestors’ experiences.

“He is an award-winning BBC broadcaster, writes regularly for the Financial Times Weekend, presents multi-media interpretations at fascinating historic sites, and has explained the wonders of the historic environment to audiences from America to Australia (but usually closer to Amersham).

Dr.  Foyle adds he is an “author of two well-received monographs on cathedrals – Canterbury and Lincoln – he also draws a bit. You might come across him as Visiting Professor in Conservation at the University of Lincoln, or helping to bring old buildings to life as Director of the consultancy Built Heritage Ltd”.

On their wide scoping Twitter feed this morning (April 10), St, Nicolas church says, “Heritage Open Day Saturday, May 12, 10:00am—6:00pm with Dr. Jonathan Foyle, very excited about this”.

Dr Foyle is author of Lincoln Cathedral: The Biography of a Great Building   (Scala 2015). Christopher Howse, in the Telegraph offered the view, “Jonathan Foyle’s admirable new illustrated book, Lincoln Cathedral: The Biography of a Great Building […] really is a biography. In narrating the life of the cathedral since its Norman birth, the author also provides a coherent sense of the building’s anatomy.”

The coming months see the forward looking church with a number of noteworthy events.

The church is marking success with their fund raising.  A special concert is to be held in St Nicolas, Pevensey at 7pm on Saturday 21 April. The concert celebrates the successful completion of a 10 year project to restore the Grade 1 listed medieval church.

The Concert is to feature the world premiere of “Jubilate” Sussex-based Harvey’s Brass, who gave a well-received concert during the church’s 800th anniversary in 2016, will play a varied programme of classical, jazz and pop music.

“Jubilate”, was commissioned from the distinguished composer (and local resident) Paul Lewis, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to mark the restoration of the church.

Churchwarden Simon Sargent commented “The two stage restoration project has taken over 10 years to complete and has involved extensive works to the spire, roofs, windows and both internal and external walls.

“Many people and organisations have contributed generously to enable us to meet the cost of more than half a million pounds, and this special concert, including the world premiere of “Jubilate”, is our opportunity to thank them and to celebrate the restoration of our beautiful church.

“A further cause for celebration is the recent arrival of our new priest in charge, Rev Tony Windross,  so this really feels like a new chapter in the 800 year history of St Nicolas, Pevensey. The concert is free of charge and everyone is most welcome to attend.”

The parish church of St Nicolas, which celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2016, has undergone a £500,000 restoration programme over the past decade.

The first stage in 2007-8 involved reshingling the spire, repointing the tower, retiling the vestry roof, repairing the aisle roofs, replacing gutters and downpipes and installing a gas boiler.

The second stage in 2017-18, which cost some £250,000, comprised retiling the chancel roof, further restoration of the north aisle roof, renewal of some stonework, restoration of the windows, removal, replacement and redecoration of damaged render from the internal walls and renewal of the lighting system.

Grants have been gratefully received from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Sussex Historic Churches Fund, the Listed Places of Worship Scheme, the Suez Communities Trust, the National Churches Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Allchurches Trust and the Chalk Cliffs Trust. In addition, the church has raised some £70,000 from donations, concerts and other fundraising activities.

New priest in charge, Rev Tony Windross, who describes himself in his new column published in the Pevensey Bay Journal as simply ‘the vicar of Pevensey’, has also added a new dimension to the activities of the church.

Particularly stimulating with the talk to be given by Dr. Jonathan Foyle is likely to be the moniker on his twitter feed. There is spark and width.

He says “Historic buildings and craft, research & narratives. Writes (@FT), presents, talks (@TheArtsSociety_ ), draws a bit. Lives mainly in the C13-C15″.