St Peter’s scaffolding set to be removed by summer

Posted On 07 Dec 2020 at 9:30 am

The scaffolding around St Peter’s Church is set to finally come down now the church has been given money to carry out the final stage of restoration.

Work first began on the Grade II* listed building, known affectionately as Brighton’s cathedral, in 2009.

Repairs to the main building were finished in 2014, and work to the tower started later that year, originally scheduled to take just 18 months.

But difficulties raising the huge sums required meant the project stalled – until this week, when the church learnt it has been given £240,000 from the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund to make repairs to the lower tower.

This phase of the project, due to be completed by late spring 2021, will see the tower fully safe and cleaned – preserving it from further deterioration, and the scaffolding removed which is nearing the end of its economic life.

However, the work won’t quite be complete and future phases are expected to enable further restoration of the lower part of the tower and to allow the missing pinnacles to be rebuilt.

Archie Coates, Vicar of St Peter’s Church Brighton said: “St Peter’s, located at the heart of the city, has long been a place where the people of Brighton and beyond have found community, love, and hope in Jesus.

“This restoration project has always made the building appear closed, but we’re very much open and alive.

“We’ve got Christmas Carol services throughout December, both online and in person.

“We also launched a crisis response in the spring, in partnership with the national Love Your Neighbour initiative, with hundreds of volunteers packing and sending 850 weekly hampers to those most vulnerable in the city, including food, handmade gifts and essential items and are underway to carry out a similar operation in December.”

St Peter’s is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a share of £103 million in grants.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post covid.”

  1. benjy J Reply

    Hmmm, Church of England £8.9 Billion in assets, and £1 billion a year in revenue and yet they want us all to pay to renovate their building through general taxation or donations!

    Nice gig if you can get it.

    • Rolivan Reply

      They need all the money they can get to pay Solicitors and Barristers.

  2. BAHTAG Reply

    Whilst Benny J and Rolivan raise valid-sounding concerns above it’s also instructive to be aware of the supreme professionalism of the down-from-London Knightsbridge church, which in our City has done, and continues to do, many wonderful actions, in addition to restoring Brighton’s most prominent church (which a while ago seemed to be on the way to becoming another West Pier ruin).

    And since the Parish Church Council of St Peter’s have been so successful in wheedling more money out of an incompetent money-wasting gov’t it seems they deserve to be congratulated on putting that money to good use?

    And, many will say, to far better use than our City Council wasting millions of taxpayers money on replacing the grass to the south of St Peter’s with hard surfacing (and with an even greater waste of money on the rest of the poorly-designed Valley Gardens 1 & 2 project, unbelievably designed with the specific purpose of causing so much traffic congestion that intending visitors will be discouraged from ever returning to spend their earnings on our City!).

    And why have the promised bus-stops in Marlborough Place, by the King & Queen pub, to benefit those visiting the Jubilee Library, not been built?

    Consult and forget – is that BHCC’s refresh of its long-standing policy of ‘Consult and Ignore’?

    And to round-off the plaudits for St Peter’s – not only has their scaffolding (and the building works) been among the least-offensive seen in Brighton & Hove, but the giant-screen advertising has been both interesting and tasteful, to the extent that drivers delayed in BHCC’s deliberate Valley Gardens traffic-jams may come to miss no longer having such interesting advertising to look at!

    Now; just how hard & long do the rest of us have to pray to get our City Council to become as professional (and even as people-loving) as St Peter’s has shown itself to be?

  3. Nigel Furness Reply

    Absolutely brilliant post, as always BAHTAG.
    As regards the hard surface to the south of St Peter’s Church replacing the grass, two vital points spring to mind.
    firstly, aren’t those ‘Greens’ forever banging -on about hard surfaces leading to more FLOODING?
    Secondly, the sanctimonious HYPOCRITES seldom miss an opportunity to preach on the loss of vital wildlife habitats whilst sweeping under the carpet their own, APPALLING track-record when in office in this City!
    As PROOF of their CRIMES against the environment, allow me to list just a few examples of their utter environmental ILLITERACY here:
    1) Had I not brought to the attention of various TRUE environmentalists, their plan to MURDER the now famous SEVEN DIALS ELM in Vernon Terrace, it wold not, to this day, be standing tall and proud as one of the last remaining examples of an English, Wheatley Elm in the WORLD! (I even provided the HIGHWAYS Officers with the simple plan of widening the pavement so as to leave the tree in the middle)!
    2)When Millie of the “Save The Trees Campaign,” set up to thwart Network Rail’s dastardly proposal to fell all the trees on the cutting embankments between Addison and Highdown Roads in Hove, requested my input, I joined the protestors in a Highdown Road back garden which had a gate opening onto the railway land above the cutting, from whence men with chaisaws, guarded by a Chief Inspector of Police, could be seen and heard going about their grisly business.
    “What can we do?” enquired Millie, to which a ‘Green’ Candidate in the up coming Local Elections ventured: “Perhaps we should offer them a cup of tea to buy time while we think?” I responded: “Cover your ears, ladies—“Cup of tea, be*****cks!
    follow me through this gate!”
    Followed by the rest of the protestors I marched up to the workmen and ordered them to desist immediately from their CRIME (I’d spotted that the tree they were attacking was an English Elm) against a WORLD-ENDANGERED SPECIES, even more imperilled than the BLUE WHALE and informed them that very substantial penalties attached to such actions!
    This they did, whereupon the Chief Inspector, having asked me if I agreed that I was trespassing upon Network Rail land, to which I pleaded guilty, said: “I’m arresting you”— but he got no further before clapping my hand firmly on his shoulder, I pronounced: “Take note, everybody, I’m performing a citizen’s arrest upon YOU Chief Inspector, for complicity , by AIDING AND OBETTING in a CRIME contrary to the terms of the WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE ACT and specifically relating to the Clause: ‘NOT TO DO OR SUFFER TO BE DONE ANY ACT APERTAINING TO THE HARM, DISTURBANCE OR DESTRUCTION OF A LISTED SPECIES!”
    “I think I need a word with my Superior Officer,” he exclaimed, to which I retorted: “I rather think you DO, Chief Inspector!”
    Two minutes later, after his ‘phone call, he shouted to the workmen: “We’re out of here!”— and off they went.
    Even though Network Rail have, sneakily removed some of those trees over the years, most of them (including ALL the elms, I’m happy to say) remain standing still!
    3) Sadly, I was unable to to prevent the ‘GREEN’ Administration from MURDERING the huge clump of native, English Ivy, planted on the South-Western corner of Hove Town hall on it’s completion, and home to a large colony of endangered HOUSE SPARROWS, simply because no public notification of this proposal was made—SHAME ON THEM!
    Shortly after this, on popping out of a Planning Committee in Hove Town Hall to have a cigarette, I discovered that Council workmen had uprooted the beautiful English roses from the central reservation flower bed in the middle of Norton Road.
    As luck would have it, the late Janet Turner, who represented the Disabled on the Planning Committee, came out at that moment to join me and at her request, I put the bushes into the boot of her car so that she could give them a home in her garden and she, for her part, went back into the meeting and demanded to know the reason for: “This BLATENT VANDALISM!”
    After conferring with the Officers, the Chair, whose name escapes me, explained that the roses were to be repaced with ornamental grasses which it was thought, would prove more ‘environmentally friendly by virtue of their being drought-tolerant and that we: “had to take this into account with the prospect of CLIMATE CHANGE looming.”
    HOW DARE these misguided ZEALOTS lecture us citizens on the BIRDS (evicted from their homes in the ivy) and the BEES (starved of their pollen and nectar food source in the roses)!

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