ENGLISH MARTYRS CHURCH & BRIGHTON PAVILION
Written and photographed by Ken Amery, 28th February 2015
PETER, THE FISHERMAN'S WINDOW, English Martyrs Church
 
CEILING DETAIL, English Martyrs Church
 
CEILING DETAIL, English Martyrs Church
GOD CREATING ADAM, English Martyrs Church
THE FLOOD, English Martyrs Church
ADAM AND EVE BANISHED FROM THE GARDEN OF EDEN, English Martyrs Church
BRIGHTON PAVILION ON A WET DAY
BRIGHTON PIER
 

Our trip to the English Martyrs Church & Brighton Pavilion

Our planned trip to view the copy of the Sistine Chapel ceiling at the English Martyrs Church, Goring-by-Sea and the Brighton Pavilion had really gripped the imagination and we had a record coach load of parishioners and friends for our excursion.

Our first stop after an effortless journey was the church. It was in 1985 that a member of the congregation had, after a trip to the Sistine Chapel, been moved to suggest that he could paint a copy of the ceiling in his own church. Permission was given and Gary, a sign writer by trade started his five and half year, labour of love. The only stipulation from his bishop was that once started, it had to be finished! The ceiling is two-thirds the size of the original and is absolutely amazing. Those among us that had seen the original agreed that it was an accurate copy in all ways. We had a short presentation on the history of the church and about the ceiling painting and the other work that Gary had completed in the church. Particularly interesting was the ‘Goring Last Supper’, which includes some local personalities (including a dog) from the church. The church is also home to some beautiful modern stained glass windows, which were superb, but must look really splendid on a sunnier day!

From here we moved on slowly to Brighton. The weather had closed in by this time and it was raining and very misty. Our journey which should take about twenty minutes was at least double this. Brighton was eventually reached and we parked on the sea front as the rain blew into our faces. Some did venture along the sea front while other, braver souls went to the end of the pier. There were also art galleries, museums and shops to visit. After lunch we moved onto the Pavilion. We had an audio tour of this magnificent building with its very individual decoration.  It’s hard to believe that this ornate building started life as a modest 18th century farmhouse. The architect Henry Holland helped George, Prince of Wales to transform this humble seaside retreat into a neo classical villa, then known as the Marine Pavilion. It was early in the 19th century that George VI, having succeeded his father as king hired the architect John Nash to turn the building into what we see today. The rooms and decoration are amazing in their splendour and opulence, particularly the Banqueting Room with it massive chandelier and the Music Room. It does not matter if you are a first time visitor or you have been before, the Pavilion always has the ‘wow factor’ and once again it did not disappoint.

Everyone seemed to enjoy our joint visits and we arrived home about 6.30pm

Ken Amery

Oliver Gooch