Brighton Unitarian Church
Brighton Unitarian Church was built in 1820. Architect Amon Henry Wilds designed the church in the style of the Temple of Theseus, with a classical portico, columns, and steps. It is part of Brighton’s Regency streetscape, built on land purchased from the Prince Regent in a prominent position opposite the Royal Pavilion and the Corn Exchange. The church has been a place of worship for nearly 200 years, services are held every Sunday for a lively and engaged congregation.
Brighton Unitarian Church is used by the entire community. It welcomes support groups, including MA meetings, Death Cafes, Martlets Hospice and the Samaritans. Social activities include African drumming, mother and baby groups, pre-school music and arts, University of the Third Age tango classes, Qi Gong, yoga and meditation. It also hosts a range of different choirs including the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus.
The project involves urgent structural repairs to the classical portico at the front of the church. The portico is currently at risk because of water penetrating the columns which are cracked vertically and horizontally, and the stucco is also in need of restoration. The columns will be re-rendered and painted with breathable paint. Cracked and loose limestone paving slabs in the colonnade will also be replaced. This city centre church will then be able to keep its doors open as a place of worship, heritage site, and diverse community hub.
Top tips from completed project feedback:
During the early stages of the building work we were told by the architect that "having unpicked the existing structure to the portico" the deterioration was considerably worse than had originally been thought. The pediment was found to be in an advanced state of collapse and needed considerably more work than had been expected. It was obvious that this needed to be done, so further fundraising was urgently embarked upon