The New St Mary's Centre

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   St Mary's Community Centre N16 Appeal Launches this May 

 * Making sure vital charities don’t get priced out of Church Street 

 * Cash appeal for £250k – less than the price of an N16 studio flat 

As business rates and rents in Hackney soar, St Mary's is launching a £250k cash appeal this month to ensure local charities and cultural groups keep a toe-hold in the area. The community centre, just behind the church, puts a vital roof over the Hackney Food Bank, Hackney Migrants’ Centre,Hackney Winter Night Shelter, Kehillah North London (Synagogue) as well as groups such as choirs, children's ballet and parties. However, the centre is badly in need of refurbishment and is now struggling to accommodate the needs of all those who would like to make use of it: 

 • Only one dilapidated shower is available for the 25 people who regularly turn up to use the Night Shelter in winter 

• The Migrant Centre often has to turn away those seeking help as it is full to capacity 

 • There is no privacy for those using the medical services of ‘Doctors of the World’ 

 • Lack of space and outdated facilities mean other plans for a much-needed soup kitchen, money advice centre, and an older people’s lunch club may have to be put on hold. 

The Revd. Dilly Baker, Rector of St Mary’s, said: 

“Church Street is now an iconic destination for those seeking fine food experiences, independent shops and local history but if you step behind our beautiful street into the surrounding area there is hidden poverty, isolation and need. We’re determined that Church Street should be for all. We need to raise £250K in cash which is less than the price of a studio flat in N16. We already enjoy the support of local businesses and its residents but now we’re appealing to everyone to dig deeper and ensure that those who are isolated and in need are still included in our community. ”

St Mary’s N16 will be launching its Community Centre appeal on Saturday 20 May with a pop-up food market, generously supported by local charities, projects and businesses. It will take place in the grounds of the Victorian Church. 

The plans for the new build will also be on show with an invitation to drop in to a consultation event with the architect on May 25th, anytime from 3.30- 6.30pm.

WHAT'S BEHIND CHURCH STREET?

Take a look behind the New St Mary’s Church and you will find the Church Rooms, home to Hackney Winter Night Shelter, Hackney Migrant Centre and numerous other community and faith-based groups and activities. 

Rising rents means a lack of available, affordable community space in Stoke Newington – we want to be able to host more groups from all parts of our community but the Church Rooms are, sadly, no longer fit for purpose. 

We have an exciting redevelopment plan for a new St Mary’s Centre, which will provide a flexible, welcoming space for all. We have already raised £1m towards the cost but we need to raise a further £650k for our proposal to become a reality. 

This is a real opportunity for us as a church to help build community in a very tangible way and make a lasting impact on Stoke Newington for future generations. However this will not be possible unless we all pull together and buy in to this project, so……We need your skills! 

 • Are you a foodie? We need to organise our launch event for the redevelopment project – a food market on the weekend of 20/21 May, which will also showcase the architectural plans for the redevelopment. Can you help co-ordinate and market the event? Are you (or do you know of) a local trader who would like to take a pitch? 

 • Do you have a flair for the artistic? We need assistance putting together a “brand” for the food market event, the fundraising website and literature for the Centre itself.

 • Do you enjoy a good letter-writing session? We have a list of potential sources of grant funding and donors. Could you take on writing one or more of the applications? We will supply some standard text for you to adapt. 

However much time you can commit, if you can assist with any of the above or have more ideas for bringing in the funds, please contact Tamar in the office: 02072546072 or stmarystokenewington@btinternet.com. All offers of help will be most gratefully received! 

The New St Mary’s Centre Planning Team

Huge thank you to everyone for the wonderful weekend. Please take a look at some of the photos of the Pop-up Food Market below: