Yurt will move from St Paul’s Cathedral to Stoke Newington church for trauma and abuse project

The yurt in St Paul's Cathedral

The yurt in St Paul's Cathedral - Credit: Archant

A yurt will be moved from St Paul’s Cathedral to a Stoke Newington church for a project supporting people who have suffered trauma or abuse.

The idea is for the moveable tent – launched next Saturday with a day of workshops and storytelling – based to become a “Listening Place” at the Methodist Church in Stoke Newington High Street where it will be set up for three weeks, so people can meet for discussion.

The yurt is based on the traditional portable structures used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia and the word ‘yurt’ originally referred to the imprint left in the ground after the tent had been moved.

Minister, Rev Cathy Bird said: “The symbolism of the yurt is powerful within a Christian context which is rooted in telling stories, crossing borders and healing.

“As we tell our stories of pain and hurt, so we leave an imprint on those who have listened which connects us, and that very relationship which is created in telling and listening can be a very important part of transforming and healing that which is broken and in helping us to ‘move on’ to a new and more hopeful place.

“Our hope is that we can develop the identity of the church as a place where we can listen to the stories within our community that have not been told, or have been silenced because of mental or physical health, disability, migration status, trauma, violence or abuse.”

The Methodist church has recently received planning permission to be knocked down and rebuilt in 2015, when Rev Bird believes their opportunities for engaging with the community will be increased.

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She said: “There will be a bright new foyer opening directly onto the High Street which will allow us to be open every day of the week to offer support and a listening ear to anyone who needs it.

“But we did not want to wait until then to start the Listening Place, so we are beginning now in the church as it is, and we are very excited about what this will mean for the church and the local community.”

“The Listening Place” will launch on Saturday July 13 and throughout July the church will hold special services.