The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, attended the opening of the restored Emmanuel Church building and new community space in West Hampstead last week and officially cut the ribbon with Cllr Nadia Shah, Mayor of Camden, and Tulip Siddiq MP for Hampstead and Kilburn.
The official opening service began with the cutting of a ribbon and the unveiling of a plaque at the back of church to commemorate the opening of the new community rooms and the restoration of the church floor. The Bishop of London then addressed the congregation and blessed the new rooms. Emmanuel School Choir opened and closed the service with two musical performances.
The planning and fundraising for the redevelopment project began six years ago and gained new impetus once the rebuilding of the new Emmanuel School, opened by the Bishop of London in September 2013, was complete. From the beginning of January until October 2016 the congregation of the Church vacated the building and worshipped in the new Emmanuel School hall.
The work in this project has included the complete emptying of the nave of the church, a new oak floor throughout the nave; and the building of four new community meeting rooms, new kitchen and accessible WC with shower facilities which will be used for running the Camden Churches Winter Night Shelter which Emmanuel Church will be hosting for the first time this year.
The opening was attended by the Mayor of Camden, Cllr Nadia Shah, Tulip Siddiq, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, Ward councillors and members of the local community
The Revd Jonathan Kester, Vicar of Emmanuel Church, expressed thanks to those who have supported the work including the congregation of Emmanuel Church, The Hampstead Wells and Campden Trust, Ecclesiastical Insurance Allchurches Group, Garfield Weston Foundation and Local Ward Councillors from West Hampstead and Fortune Green Wards.
Fr Jonathan also particularly singled out for thanks Churchwarden Robert Cox, whose energy, vision and commitment provided an enormous support in making this vision a reality and to whom the Bishop of London awarded the St Mellitus medal. The medal is named after St Mellitus, the Bishop of London who re-founded the Diocese in AD 604, and is awarded in recognition of substantial contribution to the Christian life of London.