St Mary Magdalene, the first church built and paid for by A D Wagner himself, served the crowded area between North Road and Church Street as a mission chapel. Opened in 1862 and costing £2500 (Maughan p41) the architect was G F Bodley (B 20 p771), but it differed greatly from his other Brighton church, St Michael. It was seen as temporary (ibid) – a modest brick building without a tower, whitewashed inside with wooden posts supporting the roof and creating aisles. It resembled Wagner’s later church of the Annunciation, which may have been based on it. Goodhart-Rendel calls it ‘a sort of holy shed ’ (AR 44 p59). There is no record of the fittings.
It was never enlarged nor was it parochial. This is hardly surprising as there were several other churches within a short distance. By 1929 it was little used and Brighton Toc H (CDG 1929 p351) acquired it. However, it was closed in 1948 and pulled down.