Worth Church – Cowan Architects adapt an ancient church building for today

The Cowan Architects’ Conservation & Heritage team has designed and developed a scheme of internal and external changes to improve the usability of St Nicholas’ Church in Worth, a nationally important Grade 1 listed building.

The church dates back to the 11th Century where it once sat nestled in the King’s hunting forest. Over the subsequent 900 years the church building has changed and adapted to suit its congregation and local community, and our work is the latest stage of this development.

The works include creating level access to the interior of the church and adding an accessible W.C., a kitchenette, and storage. The works will remove poor quality 1980’s works and rationalise under-used areas of the building to improve storage and communal gathering areas. Externally, the proposals include replacing undulating and cracked tarmac pathways with resin-bound gravel which will mimic the colour and stonework of the historic church building. Subtle new lighting, a new planting scheme and a memorial garden to the edge of the churchyard will also improve the amenity of Worth Church for local people.

Cowan Architects specialise not only in preserving historic buildings but also making them subtly adapted and relevant for modern day use. The team of conservation specialists work collaboratively with local and national stakeholders, congregations and statutory consultees to develop schemes to best effect.  We sit on Chichester’s Diocese Advisory Committee (DAC) and are full members of the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association (EASA), as well as being members of the RIBA’s Specialist Conservation Architect (SCA) register and the Architects Accredited in Building Conservation (AABC) register. This demonstrates our expertise in conserving all types of historic buildings at the highest possible level.