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      Description


      The Old Church is the only remaining Elizabethan church in London and one of the oldest in the country to have been built as an Anglican church. After centuries at the centre of Stoke Newington, it is now a thriving community arts centre, programming exciting and engaging artists, and community events. 


      The Covid 19 crisis has significantly affected cultural organisations and disrupted their relationship with the community. The survival of grassroots venues, which struggle to rekindle their bond with their audience, is threatened. 


      The Old Church is no different, and reopening post-covid has proven to be a significant challenge. A lot of work has been going on behind-the-scenes to re-establish the venue as a home for creative and cultural events for our local community. Unfortunately, our efforts might be rendered vain if we cannot properly welcome our audience and the artists we programme. 


      This is why we need your help today. We are planning renovation work on our choir room and the vestry after urgent building work was identified. We currently do not have a properly usable backstage, preventing us from attracting a wider range of acts and running more ambitious programmes with you, our community. Without compromising on the architectural integrity of the space which we care for, we will renovate the backstage area to the best sanitary and access standards.


      Not only will this create a space that is more welcoming and safe for users of the Old Church it will also act as a springboard for improved financial resilience as we will be able to attract a wider array of acts and events. Once the work is finished, we will think bigger, see bigger, and create bigger. Help us ensure the Old Church remains the cultural centre of Church St it has been for generations. 


      Timeline 


      We aim to have the space ready to be used for our community festival in September. The event will be three days of arts, creativity and culture conceived, programmed, and produced by community members, and we cannot wait to show you what we have created.


      The work on the backstage area and the vestry is starting very soon and running 6th - 24th June. We were honoured and relieved to receive part of the funding from the Communities Recovery Fund, which allows us to start as early as possible. Nevertheless, we do need the rest of the funds to finish the work.