An awe inspiring church

St Bartholomews Church, Brighton

“I’m amazed that St.Bart’s does not figure naturally in this site without prompting. Such an impressive, imposing structure…..As a child I found it totally awe-inspiring. As an adult this impression remains.

As a child of Brighton who has lived abroad for thirty years, the mental image of St.Bartholomew’s Church (and the ceramic slope at the front door), the power and beauty it conveys, is a fixture in my mind.

I really cannot understand why it is necessary for me to advertise it in this way. Please do this important part of the town the justice it deserves.”

Comments about this page

  • In the late 1940s I was a member of the choir in this church and also organ pump boy. But I can’t remember ever doing any pumping! I used to go up the steps leading to a central walkway right down the centre of the church and you could look down onto the congregation through what looked like dustbins with no bottoms. I also attended St Bart’s School which I must admit was not one of my favourite times.

    By Patrick Collins (10/02/2000)
  • My Dad worked on the wooden cross of the church before the 1939 war and used to wave to my Mum who was shopping in London Road. She used to say she had ‘fifty fits’ but he said she shouldn’t worry as there was a 6ft wall at the bottom of the roof! He was Jeffery Pett and worked for Packham Sons and Palmer of Preston Village.

    By Stella Fryer (06/10/2004)
  • Is the Patrick Collins who attended St.Barts school related to Patricia Collins? She used to live at the Level end of Oxford Street. I was at school with her.

    By Glenys Roberts (17/02/2006)
  • Hi Glenys. Sorry no relation as I lived in Sussex Terrace. Most of my relations were Gravetts. Hope you had a better time at that school than I did. The best I remember was having the day off because King George VI had died. The worst having the strap and my ears boxed on many occasions by the nuns. ‘Happy Days’??

    By Patrick Collins (17/04/2006)
  • To Patrick Collins: I am investigating my family tree. I’m related to George Austin who I am reliably informed played the organ in the late 1940s when he moved to Brighton from Ringmer, Sussex. Do you know anything about him or know anyone who might have information on him and his family at the time?

    By David Ranford (12/01/2007)
  • To David Ranford, George Austin was organist at St Bartholomew’s  from 1952 until his death in 1971. There are still members of the choir and congregation who remember him. He did not live in Brighton but resided in Lewes, and was a chronic asthmatic. Regarding comments about the school, it is not closed down, the original building, opened in 1871, was demolished in 1974, replaced by the existing school in Ann Street. Regarding the comments about the nuns, I owe my life to the medical knowledge of one of the nuns and can only recall the kindness that they showed me as a child. especially Sisters Ann, Elsweda, and Agnes.

    By Chris Tullett (06/02/2007)
  • To Patrick Collins – my best friend at primary school was a Pat Gravett, they lived behind New England Street. Any relation? Also, my brother, Chris Gammon, was in the choir from the age of about 9 to fairly recently. We knew George Austin. I have never forgotten being told by him “We don’t have girls in our choir.” when I expressed an interest. My singing hopes thwarted for ever!

    By Pat Brewerton (11/03/2007)

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