Community Organising for Growth

In 2020 we began an exciting new project with the Centre for Theology & Community (CTC) and we've started a journey to engage with local people to listen together for the things people are concerned about.

With the help of CTC, Hackney Citizens Local Organiser Froi Legaspi, and Hub Churches (who are showing us how to use these community organising skills ) we are looking to work together for the Common Good.

Using the principles of community organising, we act to win changes on the issues we care about, seeking the Common Good and holding our political leaders to account while working with them to make positive changes.

If you want to hear more about what this is all about, the thinking about it see this Church Urban Fund blog post about us, or discover more about Community Organising here.

Contact us to find out how you can get involved! It's open to everyone, all faiths and none. We'd love to hear from you.

Relocate Sandford Court - Our Community Organising Success!

In October 2020, the week we began out new Organising for Growth project, congregation members and local residents were given 12 hours notice about a Covid testing centre being errected with no consultation, next to and surrounding their homes, fencing them in. Individuals felt worried, powerless and were felt they were ignored by the authorities. Instead people wanted to have their voice heard. St Andrew's helped local people join together to create a petition, gather local people together (with representatives from across faith traditions and backgrounds) to lobby local political leaders to relocate the testing centre to a more suitable non-residential location.

The Sandford Court campaign has hit the headlines. It was the main story on BBC London News in early December. Local residents are discovering that together they do have power and in mid January 2021 we have just heard that we have successfully persuaded the Council to relocate the testing centre to a more suitable non-residential location. This means the Sandford Court residents have now got their homes back to normal.

We saw strangers become friends, we discovered connections with local people with skills to help us in journalism, lobbying, legal expertise etc. We saw new leaders emerging including people who had never thought of themselves of ever being a leader. People who had never spoken publicly before, by the end of the campaign led successful high-level meetings with political leaders and health officials. We also saw local people growing in faith, connecting with God and wanting to pray and share faith together on zoom.

St Andrew's also wanted to show how we locate community action at the heart of prayer and worship because we believe that God is One of Justice and Love. 'Love thy neighbour' is at the heart of St Andrew's motto of Creating Community Together and so we included this campaign into our worship for our Online Carol Service, showing how the sacred and secular can be woven together, and demonstrating to the wider community that working for justice is integral to St Andrew’s as a way to share God’s love.

The campaign was on BBC London News, BBC London Radio with Vanessa Feltz

Sandford Court residents celebrate as Covid test centre relocated

Common sense prevails: Hackney Gazzette

Families say they face spending Christmas 'trapped' in Covid testing centre

Sandford Court residents speak out over ‘stress and anxiety’ caused by Covid test centre

Residents object to Covid-19 testing site set up in Stamford Hill Estate

Community lunch

Come to the free bring-and-share community meal every second Sunday of the month, 12noon. All welcome.

Food bank collection

Donate long-life food for those who need it. Contributions are taken to the Hackney Food Bank.

Annual BBQ

Join in the fun day which includes a bbq, a raffle, brick-a-brack stalls, great music and a bouncy castle.

Schools

We have regular visits from local schools to explore the heritage, architecture, art and faith. A member of clergy can give a guided tour, host a Q&A, demonstrate a church service such as a baptism, wedding or Holy Communion. Or classes with their teacher are welcome to explore the church, the murals and stained glass windows using the Children’s Trail. Contact us if you would like to organise a class visit.

Open Church

Pop in to visit the church, do a self-guided tour or Children’s Trail, light a candle, or enjoy the beauty and peace. Sundays from 9.45am-12.45pm.

Walking Tours

Twice a year a local historian and tour guide Sean Gubbins brings walking tours to St Andrew’s. To discover when the next tour is, check out the walking tour website.

Local Choirs

We are delighted to host local choirs and musicians in our beautiful church space, with excellent acoustics, a large space and atmospheric surroundings. We have found that community is being formed because local musicians can feel at home in this space and also hold concerts, or enharnce worship at Christmas, that draws in more local people to discover St Andrew's as a heritage site and a place to connect with community-minded others.

Children’s guide

A dedicated Children’s Trail is available so that children can discover the heritage and art in St Andrew’s. Pop in during Open Church or organise a school visit. 

Do you have an idea to create community in the area? Check out our volunteering opportunities.