IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Booming Highbury Christ Church keeps growing

Community centre will double the number of homeless people offered shelter

10 March, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Artist’s impression of the proposed community centre with ‘environmentally friendly’ green roof

PLANS for a new church community centre in Highbury have been unveiled.

Thriving Highbury Christ Church needs space to expand to accommodate community groups, accord­ing to assistant minister Tania Witter.

The new building on the south side of the Highbury Grove church – next to Highbury Fields – would house an office, a large room for community use, a kitchen and café serving takeaway coffee.

The church office, currently in a basement below the adjacent vicarage, is not accessible to disabled people or those with prams.
The new function room would provide extra space for music, dance and baby-and-toddler groups, as well as the sizeable junior church, currently crammed into the 19th century building.

The new centre will allow the church to double the number of homeless people offered shelter once a week as part of the Islington-wide Night Shelter project.

The building, which will have a grass roof, will extend onto scrubland behind The Daily Grind coffee stand, which will have to go. Part of the fence will be removed, creating a large plaza in front of the church and onto the street.

“It will open up the area tremendously,” said Ms Witter. “With the green roof we hope we can have an environmentally friendly building using minimal energy.”

A display of the plans was held at the church last week to gauge local opinion. Feedback showed the overwhelming majority of people were supportive of the plans, with no one against it outright.

If planning permission is granted, building could start next year and finish within 12 months.

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