St John at Hackney church reopens after multi-million pound restoration
- Credit: Gilbert McCarragher
A Hackney church has reopened after a two year, multi-million pound restoration supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Built in 1792, St John at Hackney Church is an iconic parish church which has given out 140,000 free meals during the coronavirus pandemic as part of its Lighthouse project.
The church in Lower Clapton has also become a centre for the arts as well as a world-class events venue having, in recent years, hosted live music events for superstar-acts like Coldplay, Robbie Williams, Ed sheeran and Emeli Sandé.
Reverend Al Gordon, Rector of Hackney Church, said: “In these dark days, this restoration is a beacon of hope: a cathedral of creativity, playing its part in a spiritual, social and cultural renaissance in East London and beyond.”
The Reverend and Bishop of London Rt Hon Sarah Mullally thanked the National Heritage Fund and said the “stunningly” restored building and facilities will enable the church to continue serving its community and putting on events.
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Designer John Pawson, worked with architects Thomas Ford and Partners to restore the historical landmark with Roof Ltd as contractor.
The restoration is said to revive the church’s Georgian spaces adding a new oak interior, two chapels and a font, altar, lectern and processional cross.
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Work also included the installation of a state-of-the-art PA system.
READ MORE: Coronavirus: St John at Hackney Church to host services on YouTube after Church of England suspends public worship
Designer John Pawson said: “The vision driving the refurbishment of this East London church was always of a cathedral of creativity, where architecture and people can come together in the richest ways possible, for a variety of purposes and activities, sacred and secular.
“As a designer, it is my belief that such creativity is stimulated and fostered both by the detail of a physical environment and by the character of its atmosphere.
“I have used new architectural elements to define the different spaces and functions within the body of the church. These elements incorporate much needed storage, whilst also providing a framework for an integrated approach to lighting, acoustic and heating, clearing and simplifying the visual field.”
Planning for the restoration began in 2017.
Visit Hackney Church at https://hackney.church/ or follow on instagram @hackney.church