A group of British gay men and the Church of England have formed an unlikely alliance by partnering up to save a 200 year old church from disrepair in the South East.
The Brighton and Hove Gay Men’s Chorus, whose debut album is released on 5 December, have been performing and rehearsing at St Andrew’s Church onWaterloo StreetinHovesince the group first formed six years ago, tirelessly campaigning and fundraising for the upkeep of this much loved church, which first opened its doors in 1828. The chorus – who hit the news this summer when it was announced they were the first gay chorus to sign to a major label – will donate 10% of net profit from their debut album will go towards various community and charity projects including the upkeep of the church.
With the blessing of the Churches Conservation Trust, who were keen to have St Andrews Church inhabited by respected and upstanding members of the community, rather than vandals or squatters, the church has become the true spiritual home of the Brighton and Hove Gay Men’s Chorus.
Dedicated to protecting this beautiful building despite the Christian doctrines perceived as opposing homosexuality, the Brighton and Hove Gay Men’s Chorus has donated £1 from every single ticket sold to a performance at St Andrews Church to the Churches Conservation Trust and the Friends of St Andrew – this generous donation alongside regular rent payments has raised excess of £12,000 over the last six years. That’s not to mention the volunteer work by some of the members of the Chorus to help clean the church and maintain its good working order.
Through over 30 live performances, countless rehearsal sessions and private events, St Andrews Church has been visited by hundreds of Brighton and Hove locals through attending events hosted by the Brighton & Hove Gay Men’s Chorus – popularising this once ailing establishment and putting it firmly back on the Brighton map.
Despite its deconsecration in 1990, St Andrew’s Church is a regional treasure of the Brighton and Hovearea. In the 19th century, it was considered one of the area’s ‘most fashionable’ places of worship – even QueenVictoria’s aunt, the Duchess of Gloucester, worshipped at the church.
TheBrightonand Hove Gay Men’s Chorus release their debut album on 5 December through Universal Records, featuring covers and alternative versions of songs by Radiohead, Neil Young, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails and Ian McCulloch.