The future of Graylingwell Chapel
Graylingwell Chapel is a beautiful chapel that is Grade II listed and in desperate need of repair.
Later this year Graylingwell Chapel will become one of the community buildings that Chichester Community Development Trust looks after on behalf of the community. CCDT, with its partners, will redevelop, refurbish and rejuvenate Graylingwell Chapel into a warm, inviting, multi-purpose space that will serve the community both at Graylingwell Park and Chichester for decades to come.
This presents a rare opportunity to develop a new vision for Graylingwell Chapel; one that builds on the chapel’s character and heritage, fulfils the needs of the community and secures the chapel’s future.
During the next two months there will be a public participation process to gather everyone’s ideas. Draft plans will be developed in November 2016.
We want to hear your ideas
Come to one of the local consultation events which are a forum
for you to start sharing your ideas. We will be asking
people and community groups:
What does it feel like to be in the restored chapel?
What does it look like?
What will you be doing there?
What would you like to see happening there?
Thursday 22 Sept 6.30-8.30pm at the Community Hall, Roussillon Park
Thursday 29 Sept 3-5pm at the Community Hall, Roussillon Park
Thursday 6 Oct 6.30-8.30pm at the Community Hall, Roussillon Park
Please rsvp with your choice of date to firstname.lastname@example.org or 01243 697072
Historic Graylingwell Chapel
From the outset, Graylingwell Chapel played an important role in the community not only spiritually, but as a performance space for community singers and the percussion band.
The original site of Graylingwell, as you are probably aware, was the West Sussex County Asylum, designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield in 1894. He was a prolific church architect; his design for the chapel reflects this and it gives the chapel the feel of a parish church.
West Sussex County Asylum was designed on a ‘pavilion system’, whereby large buildings, each with a dedicated use, were positioned separate to the main hospital building. These buildings were joined by walkway tunnels. The tunnel entrance in the chapel can still be found today, just to the left of the main door.
Unlike the main hospital buildings, the surface of the chapel is faced with undressed local flints collected from the estate during construction. It is not hard to imagine that patients who attended chapel services welcomed a different experience to daily life on the ward. Originally the windows in the Chapel were plain glass. However, after the Great War these were replaced with beautiful stained glass memorial windows.
The chapel’s choir was formed in the very early years; it was much appreciated by the congregation and chaplain. Much later, in the 1950s, a percussion band was formed to lead the choir.
Graylingwell Chapel today
The chapel is used weekly by Emmanuel Church and the New Community Choir. However, its condition is far from good and it needs extensive work to make it safe and warm, and return the chapel to its former glory.
The part that Graylingwell Chapel plays in community in the future is up to the people of Chichester. There will be competing priorities, differing opinions and views but we can acknowledge these and work together to create a successful vision for the future of Graylingwell Chapel.