Brighton’s ‘oldest building’ used as a toilet

Posted On 20 Apr 2018 at 11:19 am

Police patrols are being stepped up in Preston Park to stop people using Brighton’s “oldest building” as a toilet.

Brighton and Hove Police tweeted yesterday about the grim discovery at St Peter’s Church, a 13th century building which is no longer used as a place of worship but preserved by the Churches Conservation Trust.

PCSO Green said: “Unfortunately someone has started using this beautiful church in Preston Park as a toilet. If you see anyone using the church in an inappropriate manner please call 101.

“We want to stop this behaviour ASAP, there will also be an increase police presence around the area.”

The Grade II* listed church was badly damaged in 1906, and all but three of its 14th century wall paintings were lost. However, replacement stencils were included as part of the Edwardian restoration.

The church was recently given a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £64,000 to restore the Edwardian stencils, work which was due to be started early this year.

St Peter’s is older than the 14th century St Nicholas’s Church in Dyke Road, the original parish church of what was then the small town of Brighton, but not as old as Grade 1 listed St Wulfran’s in Ovingdean or the oldest buiding in the whole city, Grade 2 listed St Helen’s Church in Hangleton, both of which date from the 12th century.

  1. Alan Robins Reply

    No mention of St Nicolas Church, Portslade, 1170

    • Jo Wadsworth Reply

      There isn’t, but thanks for flagging it up. I didn’t come across that in my search for the oldest building in Brighton – I guess because Portslade only became connected in a civic to Brighton and Hove at the same time as St Helen’s Church, which is older?

      • Fishwife, 49 Reply

        Two words: Hollingbury hillfort.

  2. rolivan Reply

    No mention of the fact that the Church are the biggest property owners in the World and that as a Charity they can apply for Lottery funding when their Financial statements show how much cash they have.Meanwhile the homeless get very little help with the occassional church opening their doors in winter.
    As for the Church being used as a toilet perhaps it could be turned into one and get people with Community Service Orders to clean it.

    • James Reply

      Hello Rolivan, while the Church of England do have a lot of property, most of it is illiquid and cannot be monetised (like this sort of church!). What revenue they do get from investments, etc, goes onto clergy wages and pensions. This means that a lot of local churches (like this: even though it is now in trust of the CCT) are almost entirely funded by their congregations and local residents, who need to match any Heritage Lottery Funding they get.

      Churches are common locations for food banks, and many in urban areas do open up their doors for the homeless: St James, Piccadilly and All Saints Margaret Street.

      Try to appreciate things a bit more rather than being an angry person who posts angry comments on local newspapers.

      • rolivan Reply

        Oh I do appreciate things that I think are worthwhile.You say their assets are not liquid well that is not what the balance sheets show.As for posting angry comments I will continue to comment on injustices.The Church and a few other Public bodies have not shown themselves in a very good light and it somehow always never gets brought to light until the perpetrators are in the last years of their lives.

      • rolivan Reply

        Just 2 more poins why mention London Churches when you could have mentioned St Patricks in Hove.I have worked at Retirement Homes owned by the church and visited Dublin to visit a friend who had retired to a convent there she was a nun at St Annes in Hove.

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