In the heart of Highbury, Christ Church plans to build a new community centre. It will be an attractive, low, one-storey building, which will be easily accessible to all and will have a reception area, church office, one large, or two smaller meeting rooms and a small cafe and kitchen. This building has been beautifully designed by Matthew Lloyd Architects.
Our vision for this building is that it will enable us to be more open to the world and to connect better to the community. The space we have in the church itself is used almost to capacity by various groups meeting through the week and by the church congregation on Sunday. This new building will allow us to expand our children and youth work and will enrich what we can offer to the community and our charity partners. In addition to having more space for projects we already run, such as the winter nightshelter, the Memory Cafe, and the community playgroup, we will hope to develop new ministries of benefit to the wider community.
There will be more space for community groups to rent for their activities and we will make a proportion of the time free for charitable purposes. It is our hope that the new building will be a real asset to the community, as well as enabling the church to expand its own ministries.
We are excited about the vision for the Community Centre, not just because of the building itself, but because of how it will enable Christ Church to be more effective in our work with people in church and community.
We will be more open and welcoming to the community with our church offices at ground level, providing a warm welcome to visitors.
We will have more space to expand and properly equip our existing support programmes such as the nightshelter - which will gain access to a shower - and the memory cafe who will be equipped with a proper cafe.
We will be able to expand our programmes of work by using income generated from rental of the building to pay for a children’s and youth worker to work with disadvantaged families in the area.
We will have space that we can provide at discounted cost, or free, to our charitable partners to allow them to amplify the work they do in our community.
“we have the chance to be bold and ambitious again as we think of the next 50 years in the life of our church and community.”
Andy Chrich | Vicar, Christ Church Highbury
Christ Church Highbury has been a place of worship and a centre for the local community to meet for over 170 years. Decisions were taken back in the 1980s to reorder the building to create the worship space, the Angel Room and the Fellowship Room that we have today. Without these spaces Christ Church would not be the church it is today with the capacity to run activities that enrich both church and community like the Playgroup, Night Shelter, Children’s and Youth activities, Junior Church and Memory Café to name just a few.
A committee has been working for just over three years to explore the feasibility of acquiring the land, gaining planning approval, and raising the necessary money to make the building a reality. Planning consent was granted by Islington Council at the end of March 2018 for a new single storey Church and Community centre to accommodate the Church's office, reception and administration functions, as well as flexible community space for Church activities and community outreach, and a small café and associated alterations to the building.
We are now running a series of fun events that all parts of our congregation and community can take part in to hear more about the vision for the centre. We’re calling this campaign “Heart of Highbury” to reflect the fact that we’re hoping to strengthen the heart of our community in Highbury on the way to building our new community centre in Highbury’s heart.