brighton unitarian church fundraising

Portico in peril: Brighton Unitarian Church fundraising to avoid collapse risk

One of Brighton’s oldest and most iconic buildings is at risk of collapse.

The Brighton Unitarian Church (BUC) has hosted hundreds of music concerts, with Rag’n’Bone Man performing at the venue only late last year. It is also an important venue for the Brighton Fringe and The Great Escape Festival but has now come up against structural issues that are threatening its survival.

After the church successfully secured Heritage Lottery Funding earlier this year, a restoration project got underway in March. However, the structural engineer currently repairing the columns has since discovered further damage to the portico that is estimated to add a further £71,000 to the existing repair bill.

This cultural and community space with Greek Revival architecture and Grade II-listed frontage has a long and rich legacy within Brighton. The church stands as a prominent cultural symbol and has played a part in Brighton’s progressive social identity; the Unitarians were the first English church group to appoint women ministers at the start of the 1900s and more recently this Brighton building was one of the first churches to offer same sex weddings.

The venue is a cultural centre which has been open to people for the last 200 years. It now holds daily events including yoga, children workshops, music clubs, and provides a place for families to celebrate life through holding memorials and wedding ceremonies.

Mrs Phillida Simpson, Brighton Unitarian Church Treasurer, said: “Thanks to generous financial contributions from charities and individual supporters, work is well underway on rebuilding our beloved church’s endangered classical Greek frontage, one of the city centre’s finest landmarks.

“However, we simply do not have the money to address the serious restoration problems, as funds raised by our many efforts are already fully committed to the original project. We urgently need to seek additional funding to help to repair the damage and make the pediment safe again. This is why we are looking to our community and friends for your help and support.”  

Donations will be gratefully received to the Brighton Unitarian JustGiving page. For more information on the project, refer to:

Brighton Unitarian Portico Rescue Fundraising Film from Sarah West (

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