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/ 21 January 2014

St David’s Church, Holloway kicks off 2014 events programme with a Ceilidh after grand re-opening

The team at St David’s Church in Holloway has kicked off the New Year with a community New Year’s Eve Party and Ceilidh, the start of an ambitious series of community events in 2014.

The free New Year’s Eve community event with live band and caller was held to celebrate St David’s first New Year since being reopened by the Bishop of Stepney and the Mayor of Islington, following its £4million restoration and renewal programme.

The Celidih was only the start of St David’s series of 2014 event, which will also include quiz nights and a St Valentine’s Day concert evening with a full orchestra. St David’s is an example of the 100 worshipping communities that the Diocese of London has committed to create or renew as part of Capital Vision 2020, its strategy to serve London in ways that are confident, compassionate and creative.

The ambitious renovation programme at St David’s has opened up the church and its buildings and allowed St David’s to host its first carol service in three decades in the run up to Christmas.

The restoration has enabled the congregation to use the main building not just for worship, but by an imaginative design, install new floors in the building at basement, first and second floor levels, which has provided it with new community facilities to allow it to serve a larger congregation and more local community groups, including offering space for the highly successful C of E School, the St Mary Magdalene Academy to expand its existing Sixth Form, and separate accommodation for a specialist school for teenagers who are on the autistic spectrum.

Locally-listed St David’s was built in 1869 and closed due to falling attendance levels in 1984. In 1992, the people of nearby St Mary Magdalene on Holloway Road planted a small congregation into the old St David’s Church Hall. As numbers grew, more space was needed and the vision emerged to reclaim the original church building for worship again.

The Revd Jonathan Rust, Vicar at St David’s Holloway, who led the renewal programme over several years, commented:

"It is wonderful to be part of the growing wave of confidence within the Church in London at the present time. Reopening this church is a fantastic encouragement to us as a parish, our local community and, we hope, to the church.

"Being a part of the process of re-opening the church has been an astonishing and deeply moving experience – some people coming into St David’s for the first time have been literally moved to tears as they take in what has happened here. We were open just before Advent and Christmas, and to have the church packed for our first carol service in this building for 30 years was beautiful. The New Year’s party, when we opened our doors to anyone who wanted to come in, was especially joyous, as almost a hundred people of all ages and backgrounds danced in the new year together."

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The diocesan communications team provides support to the network of clergy, churches, parishes and other worshipping communities that comprises the Diocese of London, as well as to the staff teams of the London Diocesan Fund.

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