A campaign has been started in East London after Redbridge Council received a planning application to demolish an Edwardian Gothic Methodist Church in Seven Kings.It was designed by Architect George Baines and opened in 1905. It is built in Perpendicular Gothic meets Late Arts & Crafts style, in red brick and stone details so beloved by Edwardian architects.
The lovely, landmark building could be reopened for community use. With a bit of careful design, it could provide space for a library, or for community groups. Farmers markets? Even become a sports hall, or concert venue. Or how about a sculpture gallery, or kids play area (with a sand pit in the chancel, swings hanging from the roof timbers and slides curling round columns?!) This building has stood for over a century. Its replacement would probably last not more than thirty years.
With shrinking congregations, and increasing risk of redundancy, we need to think creatively about how we reuse of ecclesiastical built heritage. Even a supermarket would be a preferable option to total demolition. If this building is demolished, it will never be rebuilt. Redbridge Council have to think carefully about their decision.
The campaign to save the church is at http://www.saveourchurch.co.uk/