header-ourhistory

St. George's Church was designed by the architect Charles Augustus Busby for Thomas Read Kemp M.P. in 1824-5 to serve the new estate at Kemp Town, and was consecrated on 30 December 1825.

Thomas Read KempBusby (born 1788) had considerable competence in neo-classical designs, which were fashionable in the Regency period. The structure is rectangular and without transepts. The Church is a listed classical yellow brick building, with a particularly lovely west front displaying the Grecian bell-tower and pair of Doric pilasters either side of the main entrance.

Despite Kemp's religious sentiments he built the church partly as an investment, hoping to receive a reasonable income from the pew rentals. The income however proved unsatisfactory and Kemp sold it to Lawrence Peel in 1830 or 1831, and then Kemp left the country to escape creditors dying in Paris in 1844.

From 1828 until 1851 the curate was the Rev'd James Anderson. Queen Adelaide (consort to William IV the last British King of Hanover) was a frequent worshipper. Her presence brought about an increase in the congregation and it was necessary to build an additional gallery at the west end of the church. This structure was finished in only a week by the London firm of Cubitt's who developed Pimlico in London. Queen Adelaide donated the church silver, which consisted of two chalices, a pair of patens, and a cylindrical flagon.
Queen Adelaide

After Peel's death in 1888, Charles Lennox Peel became owner of the freehold he then sold it to the congregation for £4,000 in 1889, reserving the family Vault beneath the building. You can see memorial tablets to the various members of the Peel family on the north wall of the Church.

By 1962, the building was in need of repairs and decoration, the congregation increased sufficiently for money to be found to finance its restoration. The exterior is now once more seen in its original beauty, its qualities emphasised by the floodlighting of the west front at night.

The church can seat 1,300 people, a capacity which is still used for concerts and other events. Also the Crypt Café plays host to numerous activities, groups and delicious food.