Providence Chapel has an unusual history: built in 1797 as a barracks in Horsham to house troops assembled to resist an invasion by Napoleon, it was later moved to Charlwood, near Gatwick.
Now the historic building is to be repaired and restored thanks to National Lottery players.
Once revived, the chapel will be used by the whole community and especially the nearby school with a grant of up to £421,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The project, to be carried out by The Providence Chapel Charlwood Trust (PCCT), will mainly consist of repairs and alterations to facilitate use by the school.
The grant will also enable the PCCT to carry out historical research and create an exhibition of the chapel’s history.
Charlwood School, which is in the process of changing from an Infant School to a Primary School, are planning to use the chapel several times each week for study projects and for school meetings.
Brendon Sewill, chairman of the trust, said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this grant.
“It will enable us to restore the chapel so that it can stand for another two hundred years, and will enable generations of Charlwood children to enjoy its character and learn an appreciation of our heritage.”
Stuart McLeod, head of HLF South East, said: “This project will address urgent repairs to a fascinating building that was in use as a place of worship for nearly 200 years.
“As an original ‘pre-fab’ its exterior is completely unchanged since its construction as a barracks in the late eighteenth century.
“Now, thanks to National Lottery players, the community can help continue Providence Chapel’s story by putting it to good use while helping to preserve it for future generations.”
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