A NEW purpose-built Anglican church was opened in Tottenham, London, on Tuesday.
Speaking beneath an enormous reredos, The Eternal Engine, at St Francis at the Engine Room, the MP for Tottenham, David Lammy described the church as “a phoenix that is rising from the flames”. Although the seeds of the church were planted ten years ago, planning had gathered momentum after the riots of 2011 (News, Features, 3 August, 2012), at a time when it had been “very hard to envisage beauty, cohesion”.
Adjoining the church, which is in Hale Village, is the Engine Room community centre, which includes facilities including a café, nursery for 36 children, and learning workshop. Up to 500 people use it every week.
A congregation has been meeting here since 2013, and community workers from London City Mission have been building relationships with local residents, businesses, and groups (News, 5 August, 2016).
Mr Lammy paid tribute to the chairman of Hale Village and founder of Lee Valley Estates, Michael Polledri, and his family, “for insisting that they are not just building houses, but they are building community as well”. He also praised the artist who created the reredos, Graeme Evelyn.
The Bishop of Edmonton, the Rt Revd Rob Wickham, said that the diocese’s aim to establish 100 new worshipping communities by 2020 was a sign that it was “seeking to be more confident in speaking and living the gospel of Jesus Christ”.
Music was provided by the Steel Pans band of Holy Trinity C of E Primary School, Tottenham, who had the congregation standing on its feet and whooping after their performance.