St Peter’s is affectionately known as the ‘cathedral of Brighton’.
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. The church, and especially its tower, is an important part of the city’s architectural skyline, visible as it is from around Brighton especially from 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
A 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, by far the largest aspect of this project to date.
When the work is complete the St. Peter’s tower will stand proudly at the northern end of the redeveloped Valley Gardens – this beautiful and very significant government-funded re-development of central Brighton which has recently been completed.
In November 2020, St Peter’s was one of 445 heritage organisations across the country to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. St Peter’s was granted £245,000 which enabled further emergency repairs to the unrestored lower section of the tower.
Future phases are expected to enable further restoration of the lower part of the tower and to allow the missing pinnacles to be rebuilt.
When construction of St Peter’s began in 1824, the site stood at the gateway to Brighton, welcoming residents and visitors to their 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 email email@example.com 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 All Churches Trust.
We would also like to thank Historic England for their ongoing support and advice.