The Edmonton Area is the special responsibility of the Bishop of Edmonton, the Rt Revd Rob Wickham.
The Bishop of Edmonton is supported by the Archdeacon of Hampstead, the Ven John Hawkins.
The Edmonton Area covers the four north London Boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield and Haringey, a population of some 1,144,000. The Area has a wealth of cultural diversity as well as the extreme economic contrasts between, for example Hampstead and Tottenham. From semi-rural Monken Hadley to the student areas of Bloomsbury, and from Golders Green with its large Jewish population to Freezywater in the Lee Valley, from Camden Market to Alexandra Palace, the Edmonton Area is a place of surprises and contrasts.
The Church of England is forging links in these communities, with people of other faiths and none. As massive redevelopment takes place the church is working in a variety of partnerships to respond effectively. ‘How can we build communities and not just estates?’ is a question acute in the wake of the disturbances we suffered in 2011, and to which the church made effective and well regarded responses. At Tottenham Hale a partnership with the local authority, developers and community groups is delivering a church and community centre. Similar work is happening in Kings Cross; in Cricklewood at Colindale, up and down the Lee Valley and in many small developments across the Area.
Across the four boroughs there are four church secondary schools including Greig City Academy, which was the first Academy in the country. There are also a number of independent schools with church foundations, including Highgate and Mill Hill Schools. There are forty-nine primary schools. A number of our Primary Schools in Haringey have come together to form the first Diocesan Academies Trust. At St Luke’s Hampstead one of the very first Free Schools has been built in the church crypt, and many parishes have strong links with non church schools, including Grace Church Highlands which is a church plant meeting in a non church secondary school.
Church planting is encouraged and has been effective in areas as diverse as Muswell Hill, Euston, Tottenham, (where there are three church plants plus the new church already mentioned), and Camden where St Luke’s Oseney Crescent has been re-opened after being closed for 20 years. Many churches have activities such as Messy Church, and other ‘fresh expressions,’ and there are a number of cafes run by churches from Swiss Cottage and Regents Park to Clay Hill and Cockfosters.
Hundreds of community ministry projects are run, from night shelters and food banks to advice services and community meeting spaces. At St James West Hampstead the only main Post Office in a church anywhere in the country is being planned. Recently refurbished and re-launched are the Retreat and Conference facilities of St Peter Bourne in Friern Barnet. Pastoral Assistant and internship programmes are run by parishes and groups and a welcome awaits in any one of more than 100 churches and places of worship.
Image: LONDON // 0051 by jmm, used under Creative Commons licence 2.0.