A step back in time… St Leonards Congregational Church

There is a fascinating site on Facebook called Derelict in the UK which has very recently published these photos of the Congregational Church that sits on the junction of London Road and Pevensey Road in St Leonards.

According to the site the beautiful sandstone church first opened in 1864.
Like many old churches it is now missing its original spire that was badly damaged in the storm of 1987 and had to be removed.

The chruch remained in service until 2002 when escalating repair bills and what the Derelict UK site describes as, ‘a few instances of burglaries’ resulted in its closure – although it was only officially classed as disused in 2008.

It was marked as Grade II listed in 2003.

In 2012 the old church was bought by a new owner and renovation work continued, it was sold again last year. Derelict UK says the new owner is hoping to open it as an arts and antiques centre with a cafe in the tower.

If you can tell us anything more, or have fond memories of the old church that you would like to share, then please use the ‘leave a reply’ comment facility below or email tellmeyourstory@hastingsinfocus.co.uk

Enjoy these photographs…

The exterior of the old church very clearly shows it’s missing spire.
The imposing pulpit.
The clock says it was made by a company called Dobell ‘Hastings’. Does anyone know anything about this clockmaker?

5 thoughts on “A step back in time… St Leonards Congregational Church

  1. I worked here from 1986-1989 when Seaview ran a day centre from the basement. I knew the previous secretary of the congregational church, and there were proposals to develop the church as a housing hub/community centre. However , these were rejected by the church committee. I have photos somewhere at home.

  2. Interesting article and super pictures. Regarding the clock, Dobells was a jewellers, I believe in Robertson Street. Hard to believe the clock and organ are still in situ – do you know when the photos were taken?

  3. This is the Church where I was Christened- I am now 70! I attended regular Sunday school in the lower hall and we later were able to join the main congregation to listen to the Ministers sermon. For the Christmas nativity I remember being covered in cocoa powder to represent a negro child! Maybe wouldn’t happen today! Sorry to seethe state of the building today. Such a lovely interior and the iconic green steeple was a landmark.

  4. The clock, depending on the age was either made by Ebenezer Dobell who was a watchmaker – who operated at 21 Robertson Street, Hastings during the 1860s onwards until he retired. Or by his sons Herbert E Dobell and Cleaton O Dobell who operated the business into the early 1900s. I believe at the moment ‘Tin Tins’ is operating at that site.

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The sad history of St Leonards Parish Church

Once again courtesy of Derelict In The UK we bring you photographs of iconic and deserted buildings, this time St Leonards Parish Church. Standing grand on the St Leonards seafront, this beautiful building was completed in 1961 to replace its predecessor destroyed by a direct hit from V-1 ‘doodlebug’. It originally had structural building problems […]

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