Call for £15,000 to help preserve historic Portsmouth church

The Royal Garrison Church, Old Portsmouth. Picture: Alan Kerry
The Royal Garrison Church, Old Portsmouth. Picture: Alan Kerry
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VOLUNTEERS at one of Portsmouth’s most historic buildings are hoping to raise £15,000 to preserve its appearance.

The Royal Garrison Church in Old Portsmouth – known as the church with no roof – needs a new screen after the deterioration of the current one.

Supporters of the 800-year-old church, which is managed by English Heritage, are calling for people and businesses to dig deep for the repair work.

‘The church is an important part of Portsmouth’s long and proud history and needs to be preserved for future generations,’ Tony Gibbs, volunteer guide at the Royal church, said.

‘We hope people will recognise the important part the church plays in the city’s history and donate much-needed funds. The work has been needed for about four years so it is quite urgent – it doesn’t bear thinking about if it doesn’t get done.’

Volunteers are keen for the new screen to be installed as soon as possible, especially as the current one needs scaffolding to support it.

‘The scaffolding has been up for three years, which makes people think the church is shut. It deserves a much better entrance,’ Elizabeth Wilcox, church treasurer, said. ‘We want people to visit and make a donation toward the cost of a new screen.

‘We have visitors from all over the world who love the history of the church and we want it to look like it should. Any support from businesses would be much appreciated.’

The church was ordered to be built by the Bishop of Winchester Peter de Rupibus in 1212 as a stopover and hospital for travelling pilgrims. The church nave lost its roof on January 10, 1941, in the Blitz.

The church reopens on April 1.