150 years of St Mary Magdalen’s Brighton

(Photo taken in 1885 by Edward Fox)

In 1862, two churches opened in Brighton both dedicated to St Mary Magdalen. St Mary Magdalene’s Bread Street was the first church to be built by the prolific church-building High Anglican Fr Wagner. It was built in one of the poorest areas in Brighton in Bread Street. The church was closed in 1948 and later demolished. The second church. located on Upper North Street has a rather longer history.

(Photo from a postcard dated 1906)

On 27th February 1862, upon the completion of the building of the nave, a Pontifical High Mass was celebrated – St Mary Magdalen’s was officially open for business.  In five years alone,  the Catholic population had grown so significantly in Central Brighton that  the private chapel recently set up in a residence in Silwood Place  had already become inadequate. The site of an old timber yard was purchased, Fr George Oldham was appointed first Rector of West Brighton  and the building of a Catholic church, only the second in Brighton, began.

(Click on the image to see the poster full size)

On 27th February 2012 at 7pm, the 150th celebrations of our glorious parish begin with Solemn High Mass.  Everyone is welcome.   The music is going to be divine. We have a quartet of Choral Scholars from Oxford coming to sing Schubert Mass in G aided by a chorus of Professional Singers and friends of the parish from Brighton. If you sing Gregorian Chant, I would like a couple more singers for the Schola to sing the chant. The Mass will the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit. E-mail me at stmarymagdalenchoir@googlemail.com or drop a comment in the box.

Visit the Facebook page and hit ‘Like ‘ to keep updated with all the events scheduled between now and our feast day in July.

There is also a blog with all the information on our celebrations.

More details to follow..


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