Saturday, 4 April 2009

St. Peter's Church

I don't seem to have a photo this time but when you see a building nearly every other day you tend not to bother.

I am puzzled, I will go no stronger because I don't want to appear cynical, by the report that it is to be saved by "Holy Trinity Brompton". Reading between the lines I take it that HTB is of the christian denomination of the loose genre "happy clapper". HTB being not part of the Church of England will require St. Peter to be deconsecrated but relicensed as a place of worship for the"Parish of Brighton, St Peter". The existing congregation (was it 3 at the last count?) will naturally be welcomed back. Gosh! this is all brilliant stuff. Problem solved then.

Well no. That was the easy bit.

I wonder if HTB have had their surveyors take a look at St. Peters. It is crumbling before our eyes and fenced off to protect the unwary from falling masonry. It will take millions of pounds and several years to restore and thousands of pounds per annum to maintain. Does HTB really have the financial resources to carry this restoration through? Will it have the power to fill the church week after week in order to provide income for maintenance. In short can it really succeed where the mighty Church of England has failed?

All Brightonians are fond of St Peter as an impressive landmark in a unique location and cannot bear the thought of it disappearing. But what if the only alternative is to watch it slowly crumble inside a cage of scaffolding? It would not make an attractive folly. Perhaps in the natural order of things there comes a time to say goodbye to a part of our heritage and welcome an extension to the Valley Gardens. There was once a Brighton without St Peter. Why shouldn't there be one again?


  1. HTB *IS* part of the Church of England - and one of its largest and most influential churches. They have vast resources, and plenty of experience reviving churches - both in terms of congregations and their crumbling buildings. HTB itself sees congregations of several thousand every Sunday and its past church plants are, without exception, self-sustaining and thriving. Expect great things here!

  2. Thank you for the correction Marcus I believe I was mislead by the local paper. I know little about the financial organisation of the C of E and find it strange that one part of it can be rich enough to "save" another part. It's almost as if HTB has become part of the entertainment industry.


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