All Saints CentreCommunity, Arts and Youth centre
Bookings & enquiries
Lizzie ZEYFERT Manager
Hannah ROXX Assistant Manager
Bill REAY Caretaker/venue assistant
All Saints Centre,
East Sussex BN7 2LE
Telephone 01273 486391
A brief history…
- 1148 AD first mention of the church of All Saints
- 1250 First naming of the parish of All Saints
- 15th century Rebuild, including current bell tower
- 1806 Rebuild of nave by Amon Wilds
- 1883 Addition of Chancel and transepts by W. Basset Smith and E.J. Mun
- 1880/84 Stained glass by Henry Holiday
A change in usage…
In September 1980 the redundant church of All Saints was given to Lewes Town Council to be used as a Community, Arts and Youth centre.
“The parish church of the former parish of All Saints, Lewes in the Diocese of Chichester…included in a redundancy scheme… appropriating the property to use as a community arts and youth centre and for purposes ancillary thereto…”
For twenty years the centre was run by the charity known as the All Saints Youth & Arts Trust, who were granted a lease by the Town council. Their programming policy was stated as:
“To promote, maintain, improve and advance the education of the public in the appreciation and practice of the arts and to advance the education of children and young people by the provision of facilities for creative, educational activity in the arts.”
In 2001, the Trust dissolved and handed the lease of the building back to Lewes Town Council. The Council has been directly-managing the All Saints Centre since that time.
All Saints Centre is a hybrid venue functioning as both as a Village Hall and a Performing Arts Space. As the All Saints is currently run as a venue to hire, its strength will lie in being a flexible, affordable, multi-use space. The centre is well positioned to cater for:
- Live performance i.e. Music, Dance, Theatre
- Recorded performance i.e. Cinema
- Workshop/Rehearsal Space i.e. Music, Dance, Health, Fine & Dramatic Arts
- Community And Special Interest Groups which promote youth activity, community discussion and lifelong learning.
At its best it supports its threefold aim through a commitment to Community Arts projects which are, by definition, participatory activities in which the local community can engage for the purpose of both self development, skill development and community building. The All Saints Centre acts as a creative hub by offering a safe place to create, explore, perform, discuss and gather.
The Centre is currently a ‘safe-house’ to home grown and developing community and arts organisations to meet, workshop, rehearse and perform. Some of the current organisations that call the All Saints Centre ‘home’ include:
- Starfish Youth Music
- Musicians of All Saints
- Drum CommUnity
- LGB Brass
- Intrepid Youth Theatre
- Bourne to Write
- Sussex Downs College Performing Arts student productions
- Lewes Film Club
- Lewes Junior Film Club
- Lewes Teen Cinema
- Lewes Toy Library
- The Star Group – life drawing
The Future – Guiding Principles
In order to steer the programming of the All Saints Centre it is necessary to adopt some guiding principles by which the venue will be made available for use. Generally these are:
- Encouraging education in both the production of and participation in arts, community and youth activities.
- Providing a safe environment in which the whole community can be engaged and stimulated as participant, performer or audience.
- Going beyond being simply a space to hire but a hub of creative energy and activity, reflecting the wide spectrum of the arts, and community activity and catering to all ages.
Supporting All Saints as a community, arts and youth venue, our underlying policy will be:
- To provide accessible and affordable hired space for community groups and projects
- To encourage a broad range of activities to excite, engage, stimulate and challenge
- Place education and the opportunity for growth at the centre of all of our activities.
- Help nurture the growth of new ideas and young talent
- Encourage the use of the venue for a wide range of participatory activities. Prioritise events which involve participation or live human activity on site in preparation, production and performance
- To engage in creative collaboration with local arts scene: act as a ‘safe-house’ for local organisations to workshop, perform, or display their work and facilitate local arts festivals and community festivals to use the centre.
- Aim to be a supporting venue in every Lewes based arts festival. Develop and maintain relationships with the other event promoters in the Town.
- Develop the building to a professional standard of performance space. Provide a safe and professional standard of equipment and facilities.
- To ensure all license/health and safety conditions are met and monitored.
- Actively market the venue both as a space to hire and a venue to watch for ‘what’s on’
- Bi-monthly leaflet, website, and seek more co-ordinated opportunities for publicity.
- To promote and encourage the use of the centre by a range of community groups
- To work together with local authorities, voluntary groups and associations and members of the local community in order to ensure maximum use of the centre.
- Encourage activities that promote equal opportunities, health, race relations, law and order, environmental and other worthwhile community issues.
- To provide an environment for the discussion of community issues.
To encourage music, drama, dance, literary and all other arts events and activities that aim to improve the quality of life for the community as a whole.
To provide a safe-house for groups, performers, musicians, and artists in which to perform, workshop and display their work.
To encourage new projects and creative risk taking, to ensure that performances can be experienced by the widest possible audience.
- Promote and encourage educational activities in the varied domain of the arts and community life.
- To work together with local groups and education facilities to provide workshop and performance space for young people to witness and participate in the production, practice and/or performance of arts and community projects
To download a brief history of the All Saints as a .pdf document, please click here