St Mary's Church is one of Brighton’s architectural glories. Affectionately known as the ‘Cathedral of Kemp Town’, it was built in 1876-8 to designs by Sir William Emerson, architect of the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta (Kolkata). The modest brick exterior hides an interior of surprising volume and warmth, which reflects Emerson’s training under William Burges, the great Gothic Revivalist, but also the Indo-Islamic and Classical influences of a career spent largely in India, where he became an exponent of architectural hybridity.
The church has a fine Bevington pipe organ, which is used for recitals well as Sunday worship. The church
regularly hosts other concerts, along with theatrical performances, public meetings, and fashion shoots. If you are interested in hiring the church for an event, please see our venue pages.
Read more about the history of the church and our plans for the future, which involve developing the plot of land to the west of the church. You can also download a brief guide to the church here. This is an interim guide pending production of a more formal booklet in 2019 as part of our work with the Heritage Lottery Fund.
You can see several stunning panorama videos of the church here. These were taken by Duncan McNeill, and form part of the beautiful Sacred section of the Brighton's Architecture website.
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Postcard view of St Mary's from the south-west, c.1905.