Purpose-built Anglican church in Tottenham Hale celebrates fifth anniversary
St Francis at the Engine Room in Tottenham Hale, which opened in 2017 as the first purpose-built church in London in 40 years, marked its fifth anniversary with a celebration service at St Francis, with members of the church community joined by the Revd John Bell of the Iona Community.
Founded in 2013, the community of St Francis existed in a temporary space at Hale Village’s old Engine Room community centre for four years while awaiting the completion of its new, permanent home, which was commissioned by the Diocese of London as part of its Capital Vision strategy in 2010.
St Francis at The Engine Room, together with the over 800 new homes built as part of the wider regeneration of Hale Village, serves an ever expanding multi-cultural community close to the new Tottenham Hale station. The new Engine Room building has allowed the St Francis congregation to play an even bigger role in supporting Tottenham Hale since 2017, with its active schedule of worship and community activity seeing over 500 people use it each week.
The Revd Andrew Williams, Priest Missioner at St Francis at the Engine Room, said:
“When I arrived in Tottenham in 2014 and began working in this community, one of my initial impressions was the number of people and organisations I met in those first weeks who were so determined to improve the community in which they lived. I am glad to say that in all the changes we have seen since that time this hasn’t altered, and what a privilege it has been for all of us at The Engine Room to play our small part in building up this new, emerging community of Tottenham Hale.
“The vision for The Engine Room is a community centre with a church at the heart of it all, St Francis’ Church. For those of us who are part of the church community, this model of living is an important demonstration of our Christian faith. To share what we have, to care for our local community and to work with anyone who wants to improve people’s lives. Five years on from the opening of The Engine Room, how wonderful it is to see a thriving nursery, a buzzing café, and a hugely diverse collection of people from different faiths and none, meeting together in our spaces to work, socialise, have fun, and enjoy all that this part of Tottenham has to offer.”
The Rt Revd Rob Wickham, Bishop of Edmonton, said:
“It seems incredible that five years have passed since I formally opened St Francis at the Engine Room with the Mayor of Haringey and the Rt Hon David Lammy MP. Over this time it has been a real joy to watch partnerships emerging between all sorts of wonderful people, groups and institutions. In a more recent visit, I was filled with such hope, when the diversity of local life was fully represented in those attending and leading groups and gatherings.”
Peray Ahmet, Leader of Haringey Council says:
“St Francis at The Engine Room has proved to be a vital resource for the community of Tottenham Hale and whether being a gathering place for families, a venue for meetings or a place of worship, The Engine Room is now a well-known fixture on the Haringey landscape and one I am proud to endorse and support.”