Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 04 February 2018

Iconic Brighton Church Wins Lottery Support To Save Unique Landmark Frontage

Brighton Unitarian Church has been awarded a grant of £227,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore its endangered classical Greek frontage, which dates from 1820, and is one of the city centre's finest landmarks.

The money, raised by National Lottery Players, will safeguard for future generations the iconic Greek-classical portico, pillars and steps that grace the church in New Road.

The frontage is a popular Brighton landmark sited amid other celebrated neighbours at the heart of Brighton's cultural quarter, such as the Corn Exchange, Theatre Royal and Royal Pavilion.

The Grade II listed building was the work of famed Brighton architect, Amon Henry Wilds.

Countless city-dwellers and visitors know the building as a liberal and open-minded church, a popular host of weddings, child-namings and memorial services, and also as a thriving concert venue.

But an expert survey in 2016 discovered that rainwater had begun to penetrate the stucco frontage, threatening the cream-coloured Doric columns and portico with structural collapse.

So perilous was this internal damage that Historic England - the public body that oversees the nation's finest old buildings, placed the church on its Heritage at Risk Register.

Fortunately for the city's heritage, Brighton Unitarian Church is home to a thriving spiritual community that refused to allow its beloved architectural jewel to fall into disrepair.

Church members launched a vigorous fundraising campaign which has included a busy programme of lunchtime concerts, organ recitals, quizzes and fairs.

They also turned to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for crucially needed help. Volunteers compiled a detailed dossier of the repairs required, along with a programme of planned works and fundraising to achieve it.

Now, to the campaigners' joy, the HLF has agreed to fund 53 per cent of the project costs, with a grant totalling £227,500. 

This will fund the repair and restoration of the classical portico, as well as an activity programme to raise awareness of the building"s remarkable history.

Jef Jones, the congregation's lay leader, says: "We're pleased and excited that the Heritage Lottery Fund are giving us a grant to help restore our church. 

"It has been at the heart of liberal religion in Brighton for nearly two hundred years and it"s a great community resource and concert venue. 

"We can look forward now to getting on with the work and conserving the church for future generations."


by: Mike Cobley




Share    


Sometimes it's good to be challenged, to be mystified by unfolding events, to be totally flummoxed by the juxtaposition of what's being revealed. But other times it's best to admit defeat and realise there is no mystery, just bitter disappointment.
Photo by Michael Fung Photography

Brighton Festival 2017's Guest Director Kate Tempest made a surprise return to the city on for a secret gig as part of the Festival's Your Place initiative, performing an exclusive rendition of her unreleased new album in full at Hangleton Community Centre. 

Snow Patrol are set to return with Wildness, their first album in seven years, which finds the band searching for clarity, connection, and meaning, while staying true to the melodic songwriting prowess that brought them to prominence. 

From an angel and a tennis player to a joyfully paint-splashed lady, Hangleton and East Brighton residents have been creating life-size 'avatars': colourfully painted, cut-out figures that explore who they are or who they would like to be for a Brighton Festival project called Looking Through Each Other's Eyes.

Rituals is the ambitious new album from Australian musician Amaya Laucirica (who played a storming set at last weekend's Brighton's Great Escape Festival). Her work blends the swirling contours of the Cocteau Twins with the wistful melodies of The Go-Betweens and the sonic depth of Yo La Tengo. 

Following last year's success, Byline Festival returns to Pippingford Park, in East Sussex, and once again promises festivalgoers a unique opportunity to recapture the spirit of festivals when they had a sense of purpose. 

John Finnemore has followed a well worn path and is pretty much your definitive BBC Radio 4 comedian; studied English at Cambridge University and cut his teeth in the Cambridge footlights rising to become its vice president in his final year. After graduating, he performed in Sensible Haircut with the Footlights team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2000.

Following band frontman Mike Peters' major undertaking for last week's Record Store Day – which saw him perform at record shops in London, New York and Los Angeles in a three-stop transcontinental trip within twenty-four hours – The Alarm announce the release of their new album Equals.

A special ceremony is being held next month at Woodvale Cemetery, Brighton, to return the gravestone of Thomas Highflyer, a 12-year-old slave boy who was rescued from a slave dhow and died in Brighton 148 years ago.

My first visit to The Spire. As you may have guessed from the name it was once a church (St Mark's Chapel, in East Brighton). This one has been converted to an arts venue. It still looks very much like a church though, just missing the pews and altar etc and of course, it has a stage… and wonderfully, and at least on this night, a foyer with seating and a bar.

It was always a pleasure for The Brighton Magazine to host The Beat's Dave Wakeling, when he performed in the city as part of the 3 Men & Black collective (alongside Jake Burns from Stiff Little Fingers and Pauline Black and Nick Welsh from The Selecter).

A new play by Townsend Theatre Productions relives the extraordinary true story of the Grunwick Strike, a dispute that challenged the way women and immigrants are treated in the workplace.

Brighton based gallery 35 North Contemporary Fine Art is set to host Deanland, a new exhibition of original work by painter Alexander Johnson and photographer John Brockliss. 
Pic by Paul Mansfield

The Rock House Festival 2018 brings together learning disabled bands and upcoming and established music-makers from Brighton and beyond for a day of live music at Green Door Store, Brighton.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd