Community Funding For Providence Chapel, Charlwood
Mole Valley District Council provides £20,000 towards structural repairs and upgrade.
A Capital Grant of £20,000 contributed to the restoration of the historic Providence Chapel in Charlwood, following the Providence Chapel Charlwood Trust's application to Mole Valley District Council's (MVDC) Capital Fund to repair the building and upgrade its facilities for community use.
The unique, Grade II* listed wooden chapel was originally built in 1797 as the guardhouse of a barracks in Horsham for troops assembled to repel an expected invasion of a French army under Emperor Napoleon. Military historians have recognised that the Horsham barracks saw the formation of the 95th Regiment - the Greencoat Rifles - and that the regiment went on to set new standards which led to army reforms and contributed to the defeat of Napoleon.
In 1815 the building was moved to Charlwood on horse-drawn wagons and opened as a nonconformist chapel. In 2013, when the last remaining member of the congregation died, the dilapidated but still-standing chapel was put up for sale and, with the help of MVDC, the newly-formed trust was able to buy it for £1.*
The Capital Fund is available to community and voluntary organisations in Mole Valley for capital projects such as community building improvements. This particular project sought to communicate the Chapel's heritage to future users, whilst providing a community facility for hireable use by local groups.
Last week the Chapel was open for viewing at a 'Thank You' lunch for Volunteers, Supporters and Councillors. Councillor Charles Yarwood, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategy and Assets for Mole Valley District Council said, "It was a pleasure to enter inside and experience this unique building restored so elegantly. We are proud to have played our part in this important restoration in Mole Valley and delighted that it now has accessible disabled facilities. The Chapel will be well-used by the community and with the hard working and committed volunteers it has a bright future ahead."
An official opening will take place in April 2019; details to be confirmed by The Providence Chapel Charlwood Trust.
Find out more about the chapel's fascinating history.