12 September 2017
– by Premier Journalist
Plans have been unveiled for the building of a bespoke church boat to sail through East London.
Under what is being proposed the new floating community hub would be run in partnership with the churches St Paul Old Ford and St Mary of Eton, and will help serve the communities based in Hackney Wick, Sweetwater, Eastwick and Here East.
It will be designed by architects Denizen Works and although it may look like any other barge using the canal network it will, in fact, open a concertina roof, modelled on the sleeping pods of a VW camper van, at either end.
As well as providing a venue for Christian worship, the hub will also provide a place of learning and well-being, and be available for hire for, among other activities, community development programmes, children’s theatre, art exhibitions, business functions and interfaith celebrations.
Rt Rev Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney, said: “The plans which have been unveiled for a new floating church in East London display the innovative way in which the Diocese is seeking to spread its ministry and support local communities. The designs for the hub itself are very striking, and I look forward to seeing this vision become a reality.”
According to The Sunday Telegraph, Newham Council has been approached for permission to moor the 650 square foot boat at various points from the River Thames in the south to the Olympic Park further up north.
In the meantime, another boat, the Elsdale II, would be used.