Exhibition spaces, a cafe area, and three new meeting rooms will be built inside St Clement’s Church, High Street, in a bid to turn the church into a central hub for all community activities in the area.
Father Robert Featherstone, Old Town parish priest, said: “It’s a thrilling thing, and I’m so delighted to be here to oversee it.
“For centuries there were two places the Old Town community met. One was the Swan Inn, one was St Clement’s. I want to make sure this place stays the one where the community meet.”
St Clement’s is one of the oldest buildings in an historic part of Hastings. It was built in 1380, on the site of an earlier St Clement’s Church, burned down by the French in 1377.
Now, thanks to a huge legacy from Barbara Jordan, a former chairman of the Old Hastings Preservation Society (OHPS), the parish has embarked on a series of major capital overhauls.
Kitchens, toilets and central heating were recently added to All Saints, the second medieval church belonging to the Old Town parish, at a cost of £250,000.