First new purpose built church in London for 40 years opens at the Engine Room community centre in Tottenham Hale
By Andrew Johnston and Ellie Rae Ward
St Francis at the Engine Room is the first new, purpose built Anglican Church to open in London in 40 years.
On November 21st a Grand Opening was held at the new Church in Tottenham Hale, attended by David Lammy MP and the Rt Revd Rob Wickham, Bishop of Edmonton, as well as members of the local community, and representatives of the partners behind the development.
The internationally renowned artist Graeme Mortimer Evelyn unveiled a specially commissioned new altarpiece for St Francis [pictured] at the event, which is the largest contemporary altarpiece in the UK.
The Rt Revd Rob Wickham, Bishop of Edmonton, said: “We long for human flourishing, and St Francis is our response to the liveability needs of Tottenham Hale.
“At its root we see a confident series of partnerships, which ultimately will lead to a stronger and more compassionate community, with Jesus, the ultimate builder, at the heart.”
The main aim of relocating the St Francis congregation in Tottenham Hale to this new, purpose-build church is to enable it to play an even bigger role in supporting the surrounding community. The congregation holds regular, community-focussed activities, such as the Make Lunch project, which sees pop up cafes appear in the local area and aims to tackle the issue of food poverty.
Another initiative led by the congregation is ReACT, which is a performing arts workshop staged every Spring for young people who attend local schools, and the annual Hale Village Summer Festival, which brings together businesses, residents and partners from across the community in a celebration of the local area.
Speaking at the Grand Opening event, David Lammy MP praised the work of the congregation, the artists who produced the modern artwork on display in the church and everybody involved in raising the funds to make the new building a reality.
He said: “It’s really, really important to support our youth and young people, and to support their parents. That is essential in what is the most diverse constituency in Europe.
“This is a very, very special moment. It [St Francis in the Engine Room] will be here for many, many, many decades to come.”
The church is located within the also newly built, Engine Room community centre. The new Engine Room is now open for the Tottenham community and since October has hosted a huge variety of different events, from children’s parties, to wedding receptions, Christmas parties, family reunions and more.
In 2018, alongside the programme of weekly activities and community events, led by Engine Room staff, there will be an opportunity for Tottenham families to make full use of the facilities, which have state of the art audio visual, sound and meeting facilities.
The Engine Room also has a community kitchen, which is available free of charge to all who hire the venue. The Engine Room team is taking bookings for venue hire in 2018 now.
For more information:
Call 0208 808 4590 or 07957 193922
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