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Welcome to the July update on events at St Mary’s Church, Kemp Town - a friendly, inclusive Anglican church in the heart of Brighton.
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St Mary's. It's beautiful inside.
And getting better outside.

You may have seen the wall of scaffolding along our western elevation overlooking Upper Rock Gardens. It's for the first phase of major repairs to the church's exterior. 

St Mary’s is a Grade-II* listed building, which means we have a responsibility to the nation to protect and preserve it for the enjoyment of everyone. It was built in 1878 and its soft brick and sandstone exterior has suffered extensively from coastal weathering and misguided repair in the past.
 
We are grateful for the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, National Churches Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation and Sussex Historic Churches Trust. With their help, we are fixing the west-facing roofs and rainwater goods, brickwork, masonry and windows. It’s a big project, costing around £350,000, but we hope by Christmas to be revealing our new, smarter look to Upper Rock Gardens. In 2018 it’s our plan to give a similar facelift to the church front on St James’s Street, which is also badly weathered.
 
We're contributing almost £30,000 to the repairs from our own resources – and we welcome donations to our fundraising efforts. If you would like to help, the Friends of St Mary’s are running an appeal to repair the beautiful Soames Window, which is in a particularly poor state. Follow the link to read more
about the Friends' Appeal for this is intriguing window and its unlikely cast of female characters.
 
You can also see more about our future plans, including a new entrance and facilities block on the corner of Upper Rock Gardens, on our website here.

A Kemp Town Cornerstone
Neighbourhood History Exhibition

As part of our Heritage Lottery Fund grant we're running several heritage activities, including an exhibition on the history of the neighbourhood around the church. The exhibition will open on the weekend of 19/20 November, when we'll also be hosting a reunion for old boys and girls of St Mary's Junior School, which closed in 1977.
 
We’re especially interested in the period within living memory, c.1930 to 1990. So if you have any memories of growing up in the streets around the church or old family photographs or school memorabilia, we’d love for you to join in with preparing the exhibition. We’ve listed two history activity days below on Wednesday, 27 July and Saturday, 13 August. You can also find out more about the project on our website or, if you use Facebook, join the community page we've set up for it: St Mary's School, Mount Street, Brighton.

Special Events in July

This Friday, 8 July, 7 pm
Jenny Ella Cook & The Wiseman in concert
With special guest Roman Waters-Stewart on psychedelic blues. Tickets £3 on the door.
We’re delighted to welcome back Jenny and Pete to St Mary’s, with some new songs, and also a rendering of Jenny’s ‘I pray water’ influenced by her recent recording of the song with musician Beshwar Hassan in Dunkirk.
This Saturday, 9 July, 6 pm
Symphonic Wind Orchestra of North London
Russian Summer - FREE CONCERT
A glorious Russian-themed recital performed by visiting wind orchestra SWON is next in our free summer recital series this Saturday, at 6 pm. Music by Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Khachaturian ... and a rousing bit of Rossini thrown in for good measure. Includes complimentary refreshments, with a retiring collection in aid of music performance at St Mary’s.
Week beginning Monday, 18 July
Make Your Own Musical
Arlene Rolph, resident singing teacher at St Mary’s, is hosting a wonderful school holiday workshop for budding musical theatre stars, aged 8 to 11. For more details and to book, please email yoursonglondon@gmail.com
Wednesday, 27 July, 3 pm
Tea & Company + Reminiscences
In partnership with Brighton charity Time to Talk Befriending, we’re offering free tea, cake and companionship for anyone who wants to get out more and meet new people. We’re focusing on our neighbourhood’s history at this session, so please bring along any memories and photos you may have of past times in the streets around the church. If transport is an issue please give us a call on 01273 698601. We may be able to arrange a lift for you!

Looking ahead

Sunday, 7 August – Brighton Pride Open Day
If you should be out and about partying in St James’s Street on the Sunday of Pride Weekend, drop in to St Mary’s for some stupendous Caribbean and African food and a sit-down with a cuppa. We’ll be open and welcoming everyone all day.
 
Saturday, 13 August – Neighbourhood History Day
A drop-in day for anyone who’s interested in the history of the neighbourhood around St Mary’s – and the last chance to sign up as an interviewee for our neighbourhood history exhibition, A Kemp Town Cornerstone. Please bring along any photos or memorabilia that you’re happy to share with others.
 
Sunday, 14 August – Patronal Festival
We’ll be observing the Festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Patronal Saint, at our Sunday Eucharist at 10 am. It’s always a special service, with beautiful music, and celebratory cake afterwards.
 
Saturday, 10 September – Heritage Open Day
Includes a Meet the Stone Mason session with one of the skilled craftsmen from Pierra Restoration, who are the principal contractors for our repair works. This is also Ride and Stride Day, a big fundraiser for the Sussex Historic Churches Trust, and we’re keen to hear from anyone who’d like to walk or bike their way around Brighton’s churches to raise funds for a charity that has given us so much help.
 
Friday, 30 September, 7 pm – Wine Tasting by Butlers Wine Cellar
Our friends Henry and Cassie from Butlers are returning to St Mary’s with a sumptuous range of Portuguese wines to sample and to order. Watch out too for news of a special Christmas tasting in November.
Do you love old buildings?
Could you spare an afternoon or morning a month to keep St Mary’s open for people to visit and learn about its history? An affection for old churches is sufficient qualification – we don’t ask our openers to provide pastoral care or religious support. Just to share our love for the special atmosphere at St Mary’s. If this appeals, we’d love to hear from you.
Please use our space!
You're welcome to hire the church and church hall for many activities. We host everything from drama workshops and music classes to public meetings and very big concerts. Our rates are affordable and we will always try to accommodate your event if we can. Please see our website for more details about venue hire.

Opening times, services and regular activities

Please contact Fr Andrew Woodward for enquiries about baptisms, weddings, funerals, counselling and confessions on 01273 698601 or info@stmaryschurchbrighton.org.uk.
 
Monday  9.30 am – 1 pm
9.30 am - Morning Prayer (BCP)
10 am - The Purlers knitting group
2.30 pm - Sermon discussion group


Tuesday  Closed

Wednesday  8.30 am – 4.30 pm
8.30 am - Morning Prayer
12.30 pm - Midweek Eucharist
5.30 pm - Yoga with Nicola Goldsmith

Thursday  Closed
7.15 pm - Yoga with Louise Faulkner 

Friday  9.30 am – 1 pm
9.30 am - Morning Prayer
10 am - Kemp Town Talks – Free English Class


Saturday  10 am – 4 pm 

Sunday  9 am – 2 pm
10 am - Sung Eucharist
11.15 am - Tea & coffee drop-in
Our opening times can change depending on the availability of volunteers to staff the church. If you’re making a special trip, please call 01273 698601 in advance to ensure that we’ll be there to meet you.
Copyright © 2016 St Mary's Church, Kemp Town, All rights reserved.


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