St Elisabeth’s Church has been a landmark fixture on Victoria Drive in Eastbourne since 1938. The old building has, unfortunately, been vacant for over 17 years, closing to the public in 2003 as the congregation continued to practise their religion in the neighbouring hall. While it is clear that the fixture needs to be removed, there were certain challenges that have prevented its demolition up until now. Working alongside Best Demolition, the Diocese of Chichester and the Church Commissioners, MacConvilles have helped to find a way around these issues.
Providing Solutions to the Problems
One of the biggest concerns for locals, historians and art lovers, was that the beautiful murals inside the crypt should be protected. The large wall paintings were created by Hans Felbush, a Jewish refugee who moved to Britain from Germany in the 1930s. Whilst this work was not considered to be amongst his best it is still admired by critics who use the pieces as a window into the mind of a survivor of the holocaust. In early 2020, the mural was carefully removed and preserved after a two year campaign by a local gallery.
There were also environmental concerns regarding the building’s demolition. Many birds had made the church their home and so it was important to remove these in a gentle and sensitive way. The pigeons have now been carefully relocated and their destructive guano removed.
As often seen in buildings of this age the fabric of the church contains asbestos. To safeguard the health of workers and the community we our helping to manage the removal of asbestos found in the building before demolition begins.
It is estimated that it will take around five to six months for demolition works to take place, leaving the church hall and vicarage in place, which are still well-used by the community. There are currently no plans for regeneration of the site.
MacConvilles are providing Project Management, Quantity Surveying, Contract Administration and Principal Designer services for this the project.
We might now be working from home, but we are here to help you with your building or demolition enterprise. We are able to discuss your projects over a variety of technological platforms, including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp, FaceTime, email and even over the telephone. We know that specification, time and cost are all high priority for any building project, and we are here to support you every step of the way. Let’s keep the industry moving and continue creating great spaces from the comfort of our homes.