A new and dynamic community environment opened on May 6th by the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea at St John’s Church Notting Hill.
Called simply THE SPACE, the initiative is led by Parish Priest Dr William Taylor, and has been developed from a recent fundraising campaign called ‘Restoring the Future’ where a unique 18th century organ was restored and repositioned within the main body of the church.
St John’s not only now has a great performance environment for professional organists, ensembles, orchestras and choirs to create music in, but it also has a set of new rooms for use by the community to support and compliment this.
Community Rooms and a Social Kitchen
‘This is a significant point in the development of our community focus within Notting Hill’, says Dr William Taylor. ‘The new facilities at The SPACE will allow us to develop even stronger links to the local community. We have 3 rooms dedicated for community youths, a ‘social kitchen’ to help teach people the value of healthy balanced eating, we can use the focal point of our splendidly restored organ to attract the best classical musicians alongside supporting ensembles, cinema and exhibitions. Our new kitchen will be able to cater for children’s parties or private functions, and we can embrace important community and not for profit groups like the NCT by providing them with a modern and comfortable venue for their classes. We also want to encourage local business and government bodies to use our state of the art meeting rooms for workshops, committees and interviews.’
A place for all the community
‘THE SPACE is available for hire by the hour, half day or day with discretionary rates for not for profit organisations and block bookings’, says Mark Stimpfig; who is coordinating the launch and development of THE SPACE on behalf of St John’s. Mark hopes that ‘the wider community would come and see these fantastic new facilities. During May’s Notting Hill MayFest there will be plenty of opportunity for viewings of The SPACE in action. We are also most grateful for the levels of support that we have received from charitable bodies and private donors to create all of this, and we now hope that we can repay their investment by continuing to develop St John’s as a place for all the community.’
Editor’s notes: For more information on The SPACE at St John’s please contact Mark Stimpfig firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07976 709089 or go to the St John’s Church Notting Hill web site http://www.stjohnsnottinghill.com/ For more information on the Notting Hill MayFest 2015 please go to the dedicated web site www.nottinghillmayfest.org.uk. St John the Evangelist is a Church of England Parish within the Diocese of London and a registered Charity with religious and community objects In 1821. St John’s Church in Ladbroke Grove was completed in 1845 to designs by the architectural partnership of John Hargrave Stevens and George Alexander. It was listed grade II in April 1969, and is situated in the Royal London Borough of Kensington’s Ladbroke Grove Conservation Area. The restoration of the organ at St John’s, which included an extensive series of related community activities, was funded by a £373,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £75,000 raised through individuals and organisations more info at www.stjohnsorganproject.com. The majority of funding for The SPACE at St John’s is from the Landfill Communities Fund. The Fund lets waste companies retain part of their Landfill Tax bill so it can be awarded to community and environmental projects. Viridor Credits Environmental Company has awarded £168,000 and The Veolia Environmental Trust has awarded £42,305 through the Fund. Both the Garfield Weston Foundation and The Beatrice Laing Trust donated £10,000, and other donors and sponsors have provided £118,000 of funding.