12 October 2017

St John the Baptist's Church, Church Road, Hove.

Judy Middleton 2003 (revised 2017)

Copyright © J.Middleton
St John’s was in the heart of fashionable Hove. A crowded horse-bus can be seen passing by; in 1920 
Canon Flynn complained about the noise motor buses made during Sunday Morning services

Beginnings

It was in the 1840s that Isaac Lyon Goldsmid offered to donate a site for a new church in Hove. On 20 January 1848 he wrote a letter to Robert Upperton, Hove churchwarden, and by a strange coincidence it was sent from St John’s Lodge, Regent’s Park. Goldsmid wrote:

‘Understanding that the erection of a church near Adelaide Crescent would be more likely to be convenient to the inhabitants of the houses there and to those who reside in the neighbourhood, I beg to repeat in a more formal shape an offer I made some time since.‘

copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove 
1865 view of Palmeira Square and  Adelaide Crescent

Goldsmid stipulated the building of the church must be started within one year and completed within three years. He also wished to give a sufficient sum to endow a sitting to belong to Wick Lodge in order that his servants could attend services. Naturally, he would not be attending himself since he was a Jew.

The letter was accompanied by a fascinating plan showing the proposed site with a Hove Station Road running north from the east side. The station in question was later known as Holland Road Halt. At that time Church Road did not extend as far as the proposed church site and there was merely a footpath veering off at a north west angle. The site was at the extremity of the Goldsmid Estate and the Stanford Estate bounded it on the west side. In November 1851 Stanford Estate solicitors insisted there was to be no building next to the church and that the ground should become a carriage road.

However, far from appreciating Goldsmid’s generous offer, people connected with the new church seemed somewhat ungrateful to say the least. For a start, the prickly Upperton complained to Goldsmid because he had been addressed as a secretary. Goldsmid wrote back apologising and saying he did not know what post Upperton held. Then a parish meeting passed a resolution that ‘this meeting beg to express their acknowledgements to Baron Goldsmid for his offer of a site for a new church but are of the opinion that the place proposed would not suit their purpose being too near the Parish Church.’ (St Andrew’s Old Church).

Thomas Rooper of Wick Hill thought the scheme was far too ambitious. On 4 February 1851 he stated he would not ‘pledge himself to subscribe anything to a church to be built at some indefinite time.’ But he came to change his mind and he sat on the building committee. He later resigned because he felt the poor were not being given a fair share of the church’s seating and there were no evening services for tradesmen.

Copyright © J.Middleton 
St Andrew's Church Road and St Andrew's Waterloo Street

A pamphlet dated 3 March 1851 putting the case for the building of a new church was circulated in Hove. It stated that the parish church (St Andrew’s Old Church) had been rebuilt around sixteen years previously, the cost being met by a charge on the parish ‘not yet wholly liquidated’. Although the church contained 385 sittings nearly all of them were private seats. An alteration of benches had not been much use to the poor as the space had been given to the children of the National Schools. At the other extremity of Hove there was a proprietary chapel (St Andrew’s, Waterloo Street) and this only had 80 free sittings. In the proposed new church half of the seats would be free.

Revd James O’Brien, who was later to build St Patrick’s Church, wrote on 14 April 1851 offering to endow the church, should the parish decide to build it, besides giving from 50 to 100 seats either free or at a low rent.

Conveyances

In 1851 the site proposed for a new church, formerly a brick field, was conveyed from Isaac Lyon Goldsmid to Her Majesty’s Commission for Building New Churches ‘all that piece of land being part of a farm called Wick Farm on Hove situated at the west extremity of the road leading to Brighton called New Western Road.’

On 31 July 1852 William Stanford presented an additional piece of land, eight feet wide, immediately south west of Goldsmid’s land. Stanford had told the churchwardens of his intention in 1851.

Architects

Goldsmid continued to take an interest in the project, making enquiries with Henry Piper, builder, of 42 East Cheap, who replied on 8 November 1850 ‘we are just now completing a Gothic Church at Camden Town size 80 feet by 60 feet with galleries computed to seat 1,448 persons. I mention this as it is near the size you gave me.’

Upperton wrote to Piper on 8 March 1851 specifying the ‘building must not go within eight feet of the western side but it may come close up to the eastern side as also to the footpath on the north and to the 8-foot slip of land not to be built upon to the south. The idea is to build three parts of a cross.’ It was hoped the proprietor of land on the west side would give a piece of it to complete the cross. Piper replied that he was happy to build to any design.

On 14 June 1851 Francis Dollman wrote to Upperton that he was finding it difficult to arrange the plans of the church to accommodate 900 people unless the architectural character of the building was sacrificed. Upperton replied at once that Piper had said there was no difficulty in building on the site to the size required.

William Gilbert and Edward Habershon, partners and brothers, were the architects. On 20 May 1851 the Habershons wrote to Upperton that they had just been to see the Bishop of Chichester to show him and the Archdeacon drawings of the proposed church.

On 1 December 1851 Gilbert Habershon from 38 Bloomsbury Square wrote to Upperton ‘we have been engaged in designing the west window – it required great care and thought, as it now becomes so very important a feature in the church – my brother will bring down our sketches tomorrow on the 9 o’clock train.’

St Saviour or St John?

Apparently, the first choice of dedication for the new church was St Saviour. But a lady resident in the parish informed the authorities that in fact St Saviour was a corruption of St Francis Xavier, a famous saint in the Roman Catholic Church. Such a dedication would have horrified parishioners who were down to earth Protestants. Then the choice became St John the Baptist.

(It is interesting to note that a church dedicated to St Saviour was built in the 1880s in Ditchling Road, Brighton).

Costs

Even in such a short time the estimated costs were rising rapidly. It was calculated that the church together with the tower and spire would cost around £7,000. The Diocesan Association for the Improvement of Churches gave a grant of £1,000. Revd Frederick Reade of 41 Brunswick Terrace, who was to be the first incumbent, donated £1,000 as well.

On 8 February 1853 a deed was drawn up between the churchwardens, Upperton and Rigden, and Thomas Thornton for a loan of £2,000 to be paid off in twenty years.

The rest of the money came from private subscribers.

Indenture

On 19 March 1852 an indenture was drawn up between Revd Walter Kelly, vicar of Hove, Robert Upperton and William Marsh Rigden, churchwardens, and Sir George Augustus Westphal, Sir Richard Grant, John Hornblow Turner Esq., George Stephen Butler Esq., and Revd Thomas Richard Rooper, with Henry Constable of Penshurst to build St John’s Church ‘in a good, lasting and workmanlike manner’ for £7,106-19-4d with the account to be finally settled three years after completion.

Foundation Stone Laid

On 15 April 1852 the Bishop of Chichester laid the foundation stone. He addressed a large crowd in the open air and laid considerable emphasis on the fact that it was a Jew – Isaac Lyon Goldsmid – who had donated the site for a Christian church.

A scroll bearing the names of the vicar, Revd Walter Kelly, the curate, Revd Frederick Reade, the churchwardens, architects and builder, together with some coins of the realm were placed in a glass bottle and inserted in the foundations.

Building and Style
 Copyright © J.Middleton
The tower and spire look suitably impressive 
when viewed from the east side. 
The postcard was sent on 2 April 1905 to 
Miss E. Taylor in London by Harry
 who wrote it sitting on the beach

St John’s was built in the early Decorated Style of flint and Caen stone. The interior consisted of a chancel, transepts, and clerestoried nave of four aisles.

The tower and spire were built in around 1870 of Bath stone and stood at a height of 160 feet making it the loftiest in Brighton and Hove. St John’s is fortunate in occupying one of the finest church sites in Hove because it is clearly visible from three sides and greatly adds to the townscape. Hove does not possess many towers and spires; those supposed to adorn All Saints and St Patrick’s were never built through lack of funds while in recent times St Cuthbert’s with its impressive red-brick spire has been demolished as well as Our Lady, Star of the Sea and St Denis with its little green spire. However, the unique campanile-style tower of St Joseph’s, Portland Road remains.

Edward Funnell of East Street, Brighton supplied the tower clock, which was installed on 29 June 1872. The bell weighed 9 cwt, the striking hammer weighed 17lbs and the 9-foot pendulum weighed 120lbs.

Dedication

When St John’s was nearing completion a Naval lieutenant happened to be passing by, and seeing the door open, he wandered in to have a look around. He was not welcomed and instead he was asked to leave. He refused, the clerk of the works was summoned and the lieutenant was forcibly ejected. This event caused a considerable stir at the time.

 Copyright © J.Middleton
This photograph was taken in February 2009 
showing the fine west window to advantage
 and the enlarged garden
The Bishop of Chichester consecrated the church on 24 June 1854, an appropriate date because it was the Feast of St John the Baptist. Gentlemen of the press were present for the occasion and one wrote acidly that the ‘congregation was so far removed from devotion in their behaviour … that nine-tenths of them had left the church before the prayer for the Church Militant was concluded.’ It was also noted that the ‘clergy being Low in their theology the altar was extremely plain’.

The church had 933 sittings of which 475 were free.

Church Garden

A piece of land measuring 109 feet by 14 feet on the west side of St John’s was acquired for the purpose of making a larger garden on 22 August 1857. Avery Roberts, William Tanner and Edward Stanford, trustees of the Stanford Estate, and Robert Upperton and William Marsh Rigden, churchwardens, signed the agreement.

The church authorities thought a larger garden would improve the approach to the church and the trustees were happy about this, stating that the ‘erection of the handsome large window and porch’ were made because of the express wishes of the late William Stanford who deemed it was an improvement for the whole neighbourhood.

Church Road Improvement

In November 1985 Revd W.E. Malahar agreed to set back the iron fence on the north side of the church, providing Hove Commissioners paid for the work, the cost of obtaining sanction from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, as well as placing asphalt paving on the north and east sides.

 Copyright © J.Middleton
In the past Church Road ended at First Avenue and a line of posts prevented further vehicular access. 
By the time this postcard view was taken traffic could go from Church Road to Western Road unimpeded

In June 1898 the Town Clerk was instructed to enquire of the trustees of the Wick (formerly Goldsmid) Estate as to whether or not some arrangement might be made for the removal of posts across the highway on the north east corner of the church. These posts were a celebrated feature of this part of Hove and ensured there was no vehicular connection between Western Road and Church Road. Perhaps no agreement was forthcoming. But in 1901 the Borough Surveyor was told to inform the agent of the Wick Estate that the posts were to be removed in order that wood paving blocks might be laid.

Additions to the Church

In 1906 Messrs Rogers, Bone and Coles carried out additions and alterations. In 1913 the Narthex of Doulton stone was built together with a north east porch, vestry and classrooms.

The church has a trussed roof, which is an unusual feature at Hove. The pulpit is an elaborate affair of white stone and marble, richly sculptured.

A Fashionable Church Patronised by Royalty
 Copyright © J.Middleton
St John’s was once so popular that queues of people
 formed outside hoping there would be a spare seat for
 Sunday morning service

St John’s quickly attained the status of a fashionable church. In the 1860s the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Mary Adelaide (great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II) attended services and much appreciated the standard of music provided there. In fact, they sent Mr Gates a warm letter of appreciation, praising him for his musical talents.

Henry Stephen Gates was organist at St John’s from 1854 to 1894. Before that he had been organist at St Mark’s Church, Brighton, where Revd Frederick Reade was incumbent. When Reade moved to St John’s, Gates moved too and their working association lasted for 44 years.

Princess Beatrice, youngest daughter of Queen Victoria, visited St John’s too. Princess Beatrice was the dutiful daughter who plodded through her mother’s diaries copying them but discarding any details she considered unsuitable, to the great loss of future historians.

Famous preachers such as Dean Inge (1860-1954) also drew large congregations. It would be interesting to know how his sermons went down in Hove because when he became Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral he earned the unfortunate nickname of the ‘Gloomy Dean’ his sermons being unremittingly pessimistic.

Despite the many seats, the church was often full to overflowing for services. Consequently, it became the practice to ring a bell five minutes before morning service was about to begin. This signified that if someone who rented a pew were absent, one of those waiting in the queue outside would be admitted instead.

In 1920 Canon Flynn complained about the noise buses made on Sundays and Hove Council requested Tilling’s, the bus company, to endeavour to be quieter near St John’s.

Henry Stephen Gates

His musical ability was not only recognised by royalty but also by a wide circle. He received frequent invitations to be musical director of various hunt balls, fancy dress balls, military and Masonic events up and down the country as well as the Lord Mayor’s banquets, balls at the Guildhall and Mansion House, not to mention the Duke of Norfolk’s assemblies at Arundel Castle.

Gates was also kept busy playing for a host of famous stars including Sims Reeves, Edward Lloyd, Albani and Patti. He met Mendelssohn when Elijah was first performed in London and Gates played first violin. Gates was a composer too of both sacred and secular music. He was music master at Hurstpierpoint College and Lancing College and taught at local schools such as Dr White’s School in Hove Street.

Gates and his wife, who had been educated at a convent, produced nine children. Henry was the eldest, a handsome lad who inherited his father’s musical abilities but his father was disappointed when Henry became a Roman Catholic priest and joined the Dominican Order. He was even more upset when his daughters Emma and Florence converted to Roman Catholicism and so did their mother. The conversions caused a rift in the family and Gates refused to have anything to do with his Catholic children.

Gates’s second son Arthur George stayed within the Anglican fold but was something of a rebel trying his hand at many occupations including playing in the orchestra of a circus that travelled all round Europe. He lived at 17 Carlton Terrace, Portslade. Another son Charles became a merchant sailor and never married. Daughter Evelyn Gates also remained single but she loved music. She was a violinist and conducted the orchestra at Hove Town Hall when the Green Room Players were performing their amateur productions. She lived in Addison Road.

Characters

Colonel Barré Goldie was a churchwarden for many years. He had enjoyed an arduous and honourable career serving with the Royal Engineers in India. He retired to Hove where he lived for 30 years at 46 Selborne Road. He sat on the committee of the Convalescent Police Seaside Home in Portland Road. Goldie died in November 1922. His son 2nd Lieutenant Barré Herbert Goldie died in the Great War and his name is engraved on the brass memorial tablets at Hove Library.

Eric Ghoat was organist at St John’s from 1972 to 1981. When he retired he had been a church organist for 61 years. He was of small stature, being only 5 feet 5 inches tall, and he was a fount of anecdotes. He taught music at Ardingly College and lived in a house in Denmark Villas. His father had also been a professional organist.

Windows

East Window – The original east window was noted as being a ‘favourable specimen of Hardman’s work’. It depicted the life of St John the Baptist and he also appeared in the central light. The subject of the other lights were as follows:

Announcement of St John’s birth to St Elizabeth
St John’s father Zechariah stricken dumb
St John’s baptism in the River Jordan
St John calls attention to Jesus as the Lamb of God
St John reproofs Herod and his queen
Beheading of St John in prison

This window was dismantled and packed away in the 1930s. A new window was installed and Mrs Thomas Cooper Smith donated it in memory of her husband who died in 1926. Jesus was the main subject in the new window. Unfortunately, the colours of the new window were somewhat pale in contrast to the vivid colours of the original one. Historian Antony Dale considered it a fine window but Dale always favoured the understated and had no love for Victorian art or architecture.

West Window – This window was also designed by John Hardman and no doubt was intended to complement the east window. Jesus and the four evangelists are depicted, each bearing his appropriate symbol. Once again, Hardman employed rich colours and one sensitive soul found it all too much writing its’ heavy purple colouring is only tolerable by midsummer evening light.’ However, at least it is still in place. Indeed, in recent years it has received extensive care with the mouldering stonework replaced.

Transepts – The windows each have six lights. The north window is a copy of one to be found in Heckington, Lincolnshire, and has an abstract design of vivid colours.

 Copyright © J.Middleton
This view of Hove with St John’s dates from 1908 and the cab-stand on the left foreground strikes an interesting note

Memorials

Basden – In loving memory of Major General Charles Brenton Basden late 45th Rattray’s Sikhs died November 28 1914 aged 91. For 22 years warden of this church. A keen soldier, a friend to all who sought his aid. A loving and beloved father. Also of Elsie wife of the above who died January 11 1915 in her 84th year. This tablet is erected by his three daughters. (Brass)

Bayley – To the Glory of God and in honoured and ever treasured memory of my beloved husband Colonel H.E.D. Bayley late Commandant 30th Madras Infantry who fell asleep 1 July 1916. His whole life was a unique combination of all that is lovely and of good report. I thank my God upon every remembrance of thee. And in loving memory of Gertrude Ruding-Bayley wife of the above who entered into rest on 28 January 1929. Father I thank thee. (Decorated brass tablet with badge of Madras Infantry and XXX Ava Afghanistan 1878-1880)

Cruickshank – In Memory of Major James J.F. Cruickshank of the Bombay Engineers born at Turreff, Aberdeenshire on 24 June 1810 died at Bombay on 24 May 1856 aged 45 years. He was a most Excellent Officer, distinguished for Ability, Probity and Courtesy and is universally regretted. Erected by his Attached Friend and Father-in-law James Henry Crawford.

Cruickshank – In memory of Helen the beloved wife of Captain J.J.F. Cruickshank of the Bombay Engineers and the affectionate and exemplary daughter through life of James Henry Crawford Esq formerly of the Civil Service of that Presidency, and now of this parish. Born at Bombay 15 April 1820 died at Dharwar in the southern Mahratta Country 16 December 1851 aged 31 years; erected by her husband and father.

Holmes – In ever loving memory of George Edward Holmes Major General Bengal Staff Corps died at Hove 5 August 1892 aged 75 years.

Jervoise – In Memory of Helen Jane the beloved wife of Alan Clarke Jervoise Esq Bombay Civil Service and only daughter of Major J.J.F. Cruickshank Bombay Engineers born at Brighton 18 October 1848 died at Carmar Bombay Presidency 6 October 1872. Erected by her sorrowing brothers.

Waller – In loving memory of Robert Jocelyn Waller Major 45th Rattray’s Sikhs Indian Army died at Hove December 12 1919 aged 75 and of his wife Mary Isabel who died also at Hove February 14 1925 aged 66. (Brass tablet with motto Honor et Veritas)

See also Hove and the Raj

Clergy

copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove  
St John's steeple can be clearly seen in the centre of this 1972 aerial photograph, to the right are the formal gardens of Adelaide Crescent the open ground north of St John's Church is the Sussex County Cricket Ground

Fisher – Many people will remember the gentle and erudite Canon John Fisher who was a nephew of Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury. Canon Fisher lived in a flat in Brunswick Square owned by the Diocese of Chichester and St John’s was the last church he served. He retired in 1981 at the age of 71 and died on 27 December 1996 aged 87.

Flynn – Canon J.S. Flynn came to St John’s in 1904 and stayed until 1922. He was a member of the enlarged committee that deliberated upon a suitable memorial to King Edward VII. On 26 October 1910 the committee passed a resolution that a ‘permanent memorial of suitable dimensions’ should be placed on the seafront boundary between Brighton and Hove and the rest of the money should be expended on a home for the Queen’s Nurses. Thus the famous Peace Statue was erected.

Jones – Canon John Jones was still the incumbent of St John’s when he died on 30 August 1942. Revd H.F. Tomlinson was the next priest.

Jones – Strictly speaking, Revd Kenneth W. Jones was the first vicar of St John’s because on 25 February 1966 St John’s became a parish church; the previous incumbents had been priests-in-charge. In 1969 Revd Jones was elected as a Conservative member to Hove Council. But his fellow councillors took a very dim view of the cleric when he went off on a six-month exchange to a parish in New Mexico; they voted him off Hove Council for non-attendance at meetings. While Jones was away, Canon Donald Campbell looked after St John’s. Jones faced the problem of a dwindling congregation by being in favour of a scheme to turn part of the church into a community centre and upset his deputy churchwarden in the process.

MacNutt – In 1922 Revd Arthur Charles MacNutt became priest in charge at St John’s. He caused some upset amongst the congregation because his tastes veered towards the Anglo-Catholic tradition. Consequently, when he introduced a cross and candles his flock were shocked and several people left the church in disgust. MacNutt was instrumental in establishing a Lady Chapel, which was in memory of his son who died at the age of twelve. During his incumbency the choir gallery was built and a new east window installed. He was still at St John’s in 1935.

Pratt – Revd Will Pratt became vicar in 1983, taking over from Revd David Smith who had been at St John’s since 1981. Revd Pratt was one of the church’s more colourful characters and became Diocesan Publicity Officer. He was often wheeled out to make comments on various issues. He also wrote plays with a religious theme to try and bring Christianity to a wider public.

Reade – Revd Frederick Reade was the first incumbent at St John’s, his previous church having been St Mary’s, Kemp Town. He also held the position of chaplain to the Duke of Devonshire. Technically, he was a curate to the vicar of Hove because St John’s did not achieve the status of a parish church until 1966. Reade officiated at St John’s from 1854 to 1894 and he resolutely followed the path of low-church observance, wearing a sombre black gown to take services. Other local churches might embrace Anglo-Catholic practices but such a course was not to be countenanced at St John’s.

Storr – The Hove Gazette (10 September 1898) announced a new incumbent for St John’s. Dr Storr sought to reassure his congregation by stating he would introduce ‘nothing contrary to the tenets of the Evangelical and Protestant Church of England’. He succeeded Revd W.E. Malahar who had only stayed for four years.

Wilson – Revd Christine Wilson was licensed to St John’s on 31 January 2002. In 1997 she served as a deacon at St Peter’s Church, Henfield and the following year was made a priest. She certainly made history because not only was she the first female priest at St John’s but also the only female priest serving in Brighton and Hove. She was in fact born and brought up at Brighton before moving to Penzance with her family. People were surprised to find that she was married with three daughters aged 23, 21 and 17 plus she was a blonde and wore fashionable clothes. She enjoyed working with young people and hoped to attract some of them back to church. But it was difficult being a pioneer with old prejudices still firmly entrenched. A woman in a dog collar was a novelty and if she walked into a pub, the whole place became quiet.

St John’s and Cornerstone Community Centre

Copyright © D.Sharp

In September 1976 there were plans to turn part of the church into a community centre. Although the vicar was in favour of such a scheme, deputy churchwarden Cecil ‘Toby’ Watkins led the campaign against it. By March 1981 the idea came closer to fruition with plans to establish a day centre inside the church. This would mean that the south aisle would be de-consecrated and walled off from the rest of the church.

The scheme was expected to cost £70,000 but in fact came to £80,000. East Sussex Social Services and the Health Authority came up with the funding. The Day Centre opened in April 1982 and more than 60 pensioners turned up on the first day. Warden Mrs Wendy Tizzano ran the centre with the assistance of volunteers. Hot snacks were available all day and there were facilities for bathing, hairdressing and physiotherapy besides there being arts and crafts activity and a library. When the Bishop of Chichester visited two months later there were said to be an average of 40 visitors a day.

In fact the Day Centre was such a success that there were soon plans to reduce the worship space further and create an area for more community activities. In April 1991 plans were unveiled for the extension and a major fund raising campaign began. It was estimated the project would cost £260,000 and Hove Council promised to provide £80,000. The plans included a large space on the ground floor for group and youth activities, conference rooms and two offices on the middle floor, plus a café and meeting room on the top floor that would feature the original church beams and there would be plenty of natural daylight. The project was called the Cornerstone Community Centre. In November 1991 it was announced that the National Church Urban Fund had donated £30,000; the appeal having collected £111,000 so far.

In February 1992 it was stated that East Sussex County Council would contribute £50,000. However, it was now realised that the project would cost £300,000 and more money needed to be raised before building work could start.

Hove architect Mark Hills drew up the plans and in May 1992 the Royal Institute of British Architects commended the scheme saying it was ‘imaginative, viable and need-fulfilling community-led building initiative’.

In August 1995 staff at the Day Centre decided to name their new interview room after Florrie Sullivan nicknamed the Duchess of Brunswick who died in July aged 87; a commemorative plaque was unveiled. Florrie Sullivan spent many years working to help elderly folk marooned in lonely bed-sits in the area.

In September 1995 there was anxiety the centre might be threatened with closure under East Sussex County Council’s proposal to make cuts of £7.5 million.

In November 1995 the Lottery Charities Board donated a grant of £80,000 to the Cornerstone Community, formed by the Brunswick Community Association earlier that year. David Muddiman, project manager, said they would now be able to finish off work on the top floor and provide better access for the disabled.

In February 1998 a new drop-in centre became available at the Cornerstone Community Centre for people from ethnic backgrounds. Brighton & Hove Racial Equality Service co-ordinated it and advice would be given on health, social services, housing, employment, counselling and translating.

In November 2002 the café on the top floor was re-launched with a cordon-bleu trained chef being responsible for the food. It was intended to stage a variety of exhibitions at the café with a new show every month. This venture started off with Graham Smetham’s photographs of Brunswick Festival.

In May 1998 Ivor Caplin, Hove’s MP, officially opened the new Centre Café, the latest addition to Brunswick Older People’s Project. The café was open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and served cooked breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas. Also available were newspapers, cards and board games.

On 9 January 1998 Radio Four’s Any Questions was staged at St John’s. The panel included David Mellor (former Conservative MP) Alan Howarth (Education and Employment Minister) Simon Heffer (Sunday Times columnist) and Anna Coote (from the Institute of Public Policy Research). Andrew Burroughs, organiser and manager of Cornerstone, said they had waited two years to stage the show.

On 25 October 1998 MPs Norman Baker, David Lepper and Des Turner led an Any Questions session on the United Nations.

Links:- St John the Baptist Church & Cornerstone Community Centre

Sources

Argus
J.Middleton  Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade

The Keep

PAR 387/10/49/1-25 – relating to the design 1850-1851
PAR 387/10/50/1-5 – letters from Baron Goldsmid about proposed church site
PAR 387/10/50/57-58
PAR 387/10/50/62/1
PAR 387/10/72 – resolution of the Vestry 1852
PAR 387/10/85 – contract to erect church
PAR 387/70/1-2
PAR 387/70/71-73

Copyright © J.Middleton 2017
page layout by D.Sharp