Brighton Unitarian church has announced that devastating damage has been uncovered during the current restoration project to its iconic classical building.
Built by architect Amon Henry Wilds, the church’s design was modelled on the ancient Temple of Theseus in Athens. The Grade II listed frontage had recently been placed on the English Heritage “at risk” list after surveys revealed that rainwater was seeping behind the stucco frontage, threatening the iconic Doric columns and portico with collapse. After the church successfully secured Heritage Lottery Funding earlier this year, a restoration project got underway.
However, the structural experts performing the repairs have now found:
- The pediment is in an advanced state of collapse; the timbers are extensively rotten, the metal supports are corroded so badly that some have disappeared, and the stonework is falling apart and in danger of falling off
- This poses a serious risk to the safety of pedestrians and local businesses on New Road
- The estimated damage adds a further £71,000 to the existing repair bill.
Mrs Phillida Simpson, Brighton Unitarian Church Treasurer, says “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 here.
For more information on the project, refer to: http://www.brightonunitarian.org.uk.