Floating church takes step forward with MP’s visit
The team behind the Diocese of London’s proposed floating church and community hub have been joined by their local MP, Meg Hillier, to discuss their plans for the project.
The Venerable Liz Adekunle, Archdeacon of Hackney, Revd Sue Makin, Vicar at St Mary of Eton Church, and local Missioner Dave Pilkington were visited by the MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch at St Mary of Eton in Hackney Wick.
There they showed her their proposals for the project, which underwent a successful public consultation earlier in the summer, before taking her on a tour of the canal at Here East, where it is hoped the finished community hub will be moored.
Under what is being proposed, the new floating community hub will be run in partnership with the churches, St Paul Old Ford and St Mary of Eton, and will help serve the communities based in Hackney Wick, Sweetwater, Eastwick and Here East. As well as providing a venue for Christian worship, the hub will also provide a place of learning and well-being, and be available for hire for, among other activities; community development programmes, children’s theatre, art exhibitions, business functions and interfaith celebrations.
Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch said of the visit:
“It was great to be able to visit St Mary of Eton and learn about the Diocese’s plans for a new floating church and community hub. I have known Sue Makin for many years, and think the project has the potential to provide an important community hub for Hackney and the Olympic Park. The designs are really interesting – creating a local landmark.”
Liz Adenkunle, Archdeacon of Hackney, said:
“We were really pleased to be able to host Meg at one of our churches. The floating community hub project is a great example of two local churches working in partnership to spread their ministry and the Good News of the Gospel. The innovative design and purpose of the community hub we hope will allow it to have a huge and significant impact in East London.”
Revd Sue Makin, Vicar at St Mary of Eton Church, added:
“I was delighted to welcome Meg back to St Mary’s to see our plans. She has always been very supportive our local Hackney churches and the role they play in the community. This is a unique opportunity for churches to work generously together. I look forward to working with her as this exciting project unfolds.”
Planning permission for the hub has now been submitted for consideration by the London Legacy Development Corporation. If successful, is anticipated that an interim vessel (The Elsdale II, which was used during the consultation process), would host the community hub whilst a new, bespoke vessel is constructed.