St John’s, Upper Edmonton re-opening celebration
His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew and the Bishop of Edmonton celebrate re-opening of St John, Upper Edmonton and milestone in major community renewal project.
His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, has visited the church of St John, Upper Edmonton to open its new community facility, the Hanlon Centre, which will offer a multi-faceted voluntary community organisation with a particular focus on young men and those with mental health challenges.
The visit comes days after the Bishop of Edmonton, Rt Revd Peter Wheatley, rededicated the church, whose building has been brought back into community use after lying derelict for nearly eight years and being threatened with demolition.
The events are the culmination of a major £3million redevelopment project in which the church – as one of the few remaining active community groups locally – has partnered with Enfield Borough Council to renovate one of the borough’s most disadvantaged areas.
The new Hanlon centre will offer a range of community activities and services, including English and maths lessons, youth outreach and an affordable gym. The renewal of the church building saw the restoration of the nave and chancel, Lady Chapel, vestry and Sunday School room.
The scheme will also work to improve the area’s education offer. The new facilities will house an annexe for local school, St Matthew’s CofE Primary. Further work will take place over the summer to establish a new school on the site by converting the large church hall into a school hall, dining room and kitchens and provide further classrooms in the vicarage garden.
Fr Nigel Asbridge, Vicar of St John’s and a driving force behind the partnership, said:
"Enfield Borough Council’s commitment to redevelop this area of London offers a downtrodden community the chance of the jobs, new homes, schools, bus and train routes, and the access to shops and services that we so badly need. This has given us the great opportunity not only to rebuild our church but to take part in rebuilding our community with the church at its heart."