St Giles' Church, Merston opens to the public
We were celebrating with volunteers at the newly-vested church of St Giles in rural West Sussex last weekend, to mark the reopening of this pretty church.
St Giles’, Merston, came into the care of CCT two years ago and as a new vesting, has undergone a phase of conservation. Work on the grade I listed building has included plastering, roof and masonry repairs and works to the drainage system.
The oldest part of this delightful church dates to the 12th century and although the building was later restored, it still retains its medieval character. Some of the most significant fittings include a fine 12th century font, several impressive wall monuments and a series of 19th century stained glass.
There is evidence of settlements in the area going back to Palaeolithic times and artefacts including a Roman lamp and coins have been found nearby. Around the churchyard is evidence of a Shrunken Medieval Village in the form of pottery sherds and occupational debris. Merston is mentioned in the Domesday Book and before 1086, the lands were held by ‘Gort’, thought to be Earl Gurth, Harold’s brother.
Those attending the event enjoyed the recent sunny weather with tea and cakes in the churchyard under the CCT gazebo!
Peter Aiers, Director, South East & North, CCT, says: 'I’m delighted that St Giles’ Church is now open to the public after we carried out much needed conservation work on the building. We’re also very lucky to have the support of the local community in this project who are keen to support the church on an ongoing basis.’
The Church is now open daily for visitors from 10am – 4pm.
Those interested in volunteering should contact Megan Mitchell on [email protected] 01223 324442