The Heritage Restoration Project
The Heritage Restoration Project
The most recent phase of restoration work, completed in December 2016, has seen the top section of the tower restored to its magnificent former glory by a team of skilled stonemasons. The balustrade and pinnacles have been rebuilt (from both new and reconditioned stone) and the tower roof has been replaced. The project has been carried out with funding of £250,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), alongside generous grants from English Heritage, the National Churches Trust, Garfield Weston, Allchurches Trust and Sussex Historic Churches Trust.
Rev Archie Coates, Vicar of St Peter’s Brighton said:
“Many local residents and passers-by will have noticed the scaffolding starting to come down on St Peter’s, revealing the beautiful craftsmanship that’s culminated from many hours of hard work.
Restoring St Peter’s – Our Heritage
Since 2009 we have been restoring our church building – helping to return it to its former glory, matching its reputation as one of the most magnificent and well-known buildings in Brighton. It is affectionately known as the ‘cathedral of Brighton’. The church, and especially its tower, is an important part of the city’s architectural skyline, visible as it is from around Brighton especially a large number of other key heritage sites.
St Peter’s was commissioned following an Act of Parliament in 1818 to ‘promote the building of additional churches in populous parishes’. These ‘Commissioners’ churches’ are a key part of our heritage due to their innovative structural qualities and historical importance as the greatest state-funded wave of church building ever seen in England (Historic England).
The church architect was Sir Charles Barry, later architect of the Palace of Westminster and knighted for his contribution to the field of architecture.
It is a Grade II* listed building.
For more details on the heritage of St Peter’s:
Heritage at Risk
Such as massive structure as St Peter’s with its location a short distance from the sea front from which salt laden winds are funnelled up the valley has taken a toll on the building. The salt’s corrosive effect plus that of general weathering and aging has led to increasing maintenance needs over the past few decades. Almost closed in 2005, St Peter’s was re-launched in 2009, when considerable restoration work was done to the main body of the church.
We are now focused on the restoration of the Tower, the largest aspect of this project to date – estimated to cost over 1 million pounds to complete.
St Peter’s is currently applying for funding to support the next phase of the restoration project, which hopes to launch in July 2017. This phase will involve cleaning and repairs to stonework of the mid-upper section of the Tower. To share details of the project and St Peter’s heritage, the team are continuing to develop workshops for local school students and hope to create a display outside the building later in the year.
When construction began in 1824, St Peter’s stood at the gateway to Brighton, welcoming residents and visitors to our great city! Our prayer as a church is that now, as then, this beautiful building will signify ‘home’ to all who see it and be a shining beacon to the city.
We are also pleased to welcome school groups to the church to learn more about the heritage of St Peter’s and the building project itself. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
How can you help?
We are so grateful for the generous support of many Trusts and Foundations including the Heritage Lottery Fund, National Churches Trust, American Express, The Garfield Weston Foundation, Sussex Historic Churches and Allchurches Trust.
We would also like to thank Historic England for their ongoing support and advice.