Our parish of Saint Mary, Kemp Town is in the Deanery of Brighton, within the Diocese of Chichester. It serves almost 7000 people resident between the sea and the top of Queen's Park. It straddles all of St James's Street and Upper St James's Street, and at its most westerly point stretches to the Old Steine and at its most easterly to Sutherland Road.
These boundaries have changed several times since the parish was created in the 1870s. Initially the church's catchment area was more easterly, towards Kemp Town proper, but in 1949 the parish was reordered to take in much of the area previously under St James's Church, in Chapel Street, and then again, in 1967, that of All Souls Church in Eastern Road.
Our population is a diverse inner-city one, with fewer family units and children than the national average and a high proportion of young working adults, many of them newcomers to the area. Because of local authority housing priorities in the 1970s, there is an unusual concentration of elderly and disabled people to the east of the church, including many who are effectively house-bound and suffer loneliness and isolation. The area has quite severe levels of deprivation.
We benefit from the lively culture of St James's Street, the numerous small businesses and hotels that flourish in the neighbourhood, and the commitment of the many community activists who work to better the area for everyone. There is a large and politically active LGBT+ community, many
independent arts and media workers, and a substantial student population, many of them from overseas.
We love the diversity of our parish and wouldn't have it any other way!
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