12 February 2015…..When built in 1863 Holy Trinity Church stood in a field. A low boundary wall went up around it in 1866 – presumably needed because of the development going on that would soon see it surrounded. The wall was increased in height a few years later to deter litterbugs chucking rubbish into the grounds. The roofscape at the eastern end is amazing. Quite mad.
As with the Reform church across the road from it, the Roman Catholic one down Ventnor Villas and the C of E All Saints in The Drive, there are no burial grounds. These are urban churches. Churches built to service expanding urbanisation of the area and population increases at a time when Churches and Christianity were at the centre of civic life and communities. indeed Holy Trinity was built because All Saints was overcrowded and an overflow church was needed to take the expanding congregation’s new people.
It would be interesting to know quite where everyone was meant to go after death (apart from the then capacious St. Andrews cemetery which stretched up through the entire area now colonised by Tesco’s car park St. Andrews Church primary school). How I wish I could see photos of how that graveyard looked. Who was in there? All dug up of course, bones dumped elsewhere and gravestones broken up for doorsteps I have heard. Only the graves ssurrounding the church itself survive.
Walking around the lawned grounds of Holy Trinity Church, looking at the boarded up scout hut, the external pulpit donated by “a soldier and his wife” in 1912, the church hall added in 1957, you can still get a sense of the England now superceded by globalisation, multiculturalism, and our rushing, stressed and generally Godless way of life. A taxi rank fills one border area, bus stops another and the terraced housing of Denmark Villas entirely blocks viewing of the multiple peaks and decorative walling of the eastern elevation. Neverthless, within these grounds is a precious oasis of quietude and in spite of the squalor accruing from street drinkers and squattings since the church was closed in 2008, there is still a sense of peace in there. It is a Godly peace and it should never be lost.
The Coptic Christian Church of Hove has an expanding congregation, just as All Saints had back in the 1860 period. And just like All Saints it needs a second overflow Church to expand into. Indeed All Saints is booked and used by them at Easter and at other times for big occasion services because the Church in Davigdor Road cannot take the numbers attending. Because the Church of England seems to have decided Holy Trinity can never be used as a Church again, there seems to be a problem with letting the Coptic Christian Church buy it. It seems very, very wrong.
The donated external Pulpit inscription
“This pulpit is erected to the Glory of God for the Preaching of the Gospel + by a soldier and his wife + AD1912”
The Grounds inside
The Grade 2 Listed 3-street-fronting continuous Flint wall
Eaton Villas, streetview and insidethe grounds
Sadly the whole Eaton Villas side of the grounds and wall are not included in the proposal to turn the rest of the Church and grounds into a GP surgery and newbuild grounds pharmacy. So what IS planned for this side? Nobody is seemingly prepared to say.