On 9th September 2009, representatives of the Save All Hallows Campaign (SAHC) met with Southwark Cathedral and presented alternative plans, drawn up by Christopher Hills of Linedota Architects, for All Hallows Church and Copperfield Gardens. The plans may be viewed at the SAHC website www.saveallhallows.com.
This was a constructive initiative from the local community following the consultation meetings held by Southwark Cathedral on 15th and 16th June 2009 where 58 people rejected Southwark Cathedral's plans to develop All Hallows with only 3 in support of the scheme.
We suggested to the Cathedral that they create a community and cultural centre with a garden, instead of the nine flats that they have proposed. We believe that our proposal could provide as much, if not more, income to the Cathedral as its own scheme in addition to enhancing the local community and rejuvenating the Church that the Cathedral has negligently allowed to fall into disuse and disrepair.
At that meeting it was recorded that the Cathedral agreed to consider the alternative proposals and come back shortly with comments. On 12th October 2009 they wrote to SAHC saying that “colleagues are still assessing your alternative plans but I hope we will be able to get back to you with a response before too long.”
It is now six month on and we have heard nothing. The residents and their architects worked hard to present constructive alternative plans that would benefit both the community and the Cathedral. It is this lack of communication, of listening and respect that has unfortunately led to the Cathedral being held in such low esteem by our community, local workers, and our wide and growing network of supporters.
Last week we had information passed on that Southwark Cathedral
intends to submit a planning application in the near future for All
Hallows Church and Community Garden. We would be obliged if you would
confirm if this is fact or speculation.
We have still not had a response to our letter dated 11th April 2010
asking for a meeting with the cathedral to further discuss its plans
and our alternative proposals for the All Hallows' site, as well as an
assurance that there would be a consultation with the local community
and supporters before the cathedral submitted a planning application.
We do understand that you are in a difficult position given that the
last consultation resulted in 58 people rejecting your plans with only
3 supporting, but we are still offering to work with you to reach a
solution for the benefit of both parties.
It now appears that once again, and for a third time, that you intend
to ignore the letters, voices and wishes of local people in relation
to the All Hallows' site, as well as refusing offers of help to find a
mutually beneficial solution.
Even at this late stage we are asking you to respond to and engage
with us before Southwark Cathedral submits any planning application
regarding All Hallows.
The Save All Hallows Campaign
Save All Hallows Campaign
About All Hallows Church and Community Garden
All Hallows Community Garden on Copperfield Street in Borough was
created from the rubble of a World War Two bombsite in the 1950s. For
almost 40 years it has been maintained and managed voluntarily by
local residents for the enjoyment of all. The award-winning walled
garden is located on the footprint of the original All Hallows Church
that was destroyed by the Germans during the Blitz. The smaller church
built on the site after the war can still be seen there but is no
longer in use. All Hallows Church and Community Garden are in the
heart of a conservation area and stand on one of the last remaining
undeveloped bomb sites in central London. The Save All Hallows
Campaign was formed to fight repeated efforts by Southwark Cathedral
to develop the church and garden for its own use. Southwark Cathedral
is proposing to demolish All Hallows Church to make way for a private
flats' development and, as a result, public access to the garden is
likely to be eventually withdrawn. The proposed scheme will also ruin
the quality of life of hundreds of residents on the Winchester Park
Estate that adjoins All Hallows Church to the north. It will tomb in
the blocks, take away residents' natural light, and lead to increased
noise and artificial light levels. For further information, to join
our campaign, and to view our alternative plans for the site that have
been submitted to Southwark Cathedral, please visit our website
www.saveallhallows.com, from where you can also access the campaign's
I only see this site today for the first time and reading that posting by Una Devine I am thinking of two Sky Pilots in the mid to late fifties -- Father Kempster and Father Alan Christmas (the big guy) who do tremendous work for All Hallows and the youth club in the Redcross way area of town . Now I must tell you ( or more specifically the Southwark Cathedral hierachy) that these two Fathers will be a little vexed about any plans to build flats on this land because their idea was to build communities . But that was fifty odd years ago and maybe is now considered to be a little old fashioned and even ancient history and as MONEY is the be-all and end-all ( rather than old fashioned principles) I am willing to bet even money or odds-on that the Southwark Cathedral will get their own way . But , as anyone who plays the gee-gees knows , sometimes the 20/1 outsider bet gets a lucky boost and pulls through so I will wish all you local residents the very best in preserving your rightful heritage .
All Best Wishes
Unbelievable - Southwark Cathedral has (probably tiptoed around in the dead of night) wrapped large chains around the and padlocked the garden. What kind of Church is this that would treat it's parishioners with such utter contempt??
For almost 40 years this garden has been carefully and unselfishly tended by a handful of local volunteers - without any handouts from the Church: (see www.saveallhallows.com, or email [email protected] for further info).
How many times has anyone from the Church cut the lawn - never
How many times have they emptied the bins - never
How many bulbs have they planted - none
How many times have they locked and unlocked - never
How many times have the Church thanked the volunteers for making such a grotty area beautiful - NEVER
What kind of Dean are we so fortunate to have in this parish?
I attended all the meetings with the cathedral and not once did the cathedral mention "closing the garden from time to time". It is really upsetting to know that an establishment such as the church twists the truth to suit their own purposes to the detriment of those they are there to serve.
London, 17 August 2010:Southwark Cathedral has been claiming to the BBC, and other media this morning, that they were in correspondence with the Save All Hallows campaign over a number of weeks warning that the gates to All Hallows Church and Community Garden would be locked.
This is not true. They never corresponded with our campaign about this, otherwise this story would have been in the public domain when they did that.
The campaign's communications' systems are very streamlined. We monitor everything that comes in from the cathedral and they have never once mentioned a lock-out to us. They told us they were removing petitions and birdboxes from the site. That was it.
The first we found out about the lock-out was as we said in yesterday's press release - when we went to open the garden on Monday morning and found the cathedrals' padlocks and signs on the gates.
We would like to ask the cathedral to produce evidence of such correspondence to us. They will not be able to provide it as it does not exist. Our campaign is open and transparent, and we are happy to provide documentary back-up to support all our claims.
For more information on the campaign, please see earlier press release below. Contact Una Devine The Save All Hallows Campaign 07904 368 049
**Garden gates padlocked with no notification to garden carers who maintained property for forty years **
London, 16 August 2010:Southwark Cathedral has locked a south London community out of a community garden that has been in voluntary local management for over forty years.
Local residents arrived to unlock the gates of All Hallows Church and Community Garden on Copperfield Street in Borough this morning (Monday, 16th August) to find the cathedral had, without notice, padlocked the gates.
The cathedral had also erected a sign that reads: “These grounds are the property of the Southwark Cathedral chapter. Access is at the chapter's discretion. These gates will be locked from time to time”.
All Hallows Church and Community Garden - in the shadow of the cathedral's own spires (seven minutes' walk from the cathedral and three blocks behind Tate Modern) - has been managed voluntarily by local residents and supporters with no help, acknowledgment or thanks from the cathedral for over four decades.
The church and garden, which was created from the rubble of a World War Two bombsite in the 1950s and now forms the core of a key conservation complex, is under threat from development by Southwark Cathedral. The cathedral wants to knock the church and complex down and replace it with private flats, an amphitheatre, hall, and a house for the Canon Pastor, when the last three already exists on the site.
The cathedral recently submitted their third planning application in five years to Southwark Council to demolish and develop the site. Locals do not know what these plans entail as the cathedral has refused to enter into any dialogue on the revised project.
Central to local concerns is the assurance in written, legal form of continued public access to the community garden for posterity. But Colin Slee, Dean, Southwark Cathedral, has publicly refused to do this. Campaigners have long suspected that the cathedral intends to eventually close off the garden for its own private use.
Petitions mounted on the garden gates three weeks ago urging people to save All Hallows attracted signatures from more than 300 people before the cathedral removed them. In the past three weeks, that cathedral has also removed a security camera and light - erected by the garden carers at their own expense - as well as four bird boxes, one registered with the British Ornithology Trust.
“While we respect the cathedral's legal right regarding the site, we cannot believe Colin Slee, the Dean of Southwark Cathedral, has locked our community out of the garden which we have cared for and maintained for forty years. The fact that he has done so without even notifying us demonstrates the complete contempt in which he holds our community”, says Una Devine of the Save All Hallows' Campaign, which was formed to lobby for the protection of the All Hallows' site.
“The cutting off of public access this morning, with no indication as to when the garden would be open to the public, lends credence to our suspicions that - despite whatever provisions the cathedral makes for the garden in the latest planning application - the cathedral intends to take over All Hallows for its own private use.
“We think the very least Colin Slee could have done was to say thank you to our community for creating and maintaining such a beautiful, green haven for Londoners - old, young, rich and poor - to escape the frantic pace of London life, and for turning our neighbourhood into a highly desirable place to live.”
For more information, please contact Una Devine, The Save All Hallows' Campaign, m 07904 368 049 e. email@example.com
NOTES FOR EDITORS
About All Hallows Church and Community Garden
All Hallows Community Garden on Copperfield Street in Borough was created from the rubble of a World War Two bombsite in the 1950s. For more 40 years it has been maintained and managed voluntarily by local residents for the enjoyment of all. The award-winning walled garden is located on the footprint of the original All Hallows Church that was destroyed by the Germans during the Blitz. The smaller church built on the site after the war can still be seen there but is no longer in use. All Hallows Church and Community Garden are in the heart of a conservation area and stand on one of the last remaining undeveloped bomb sites in central London. The Save All Hallows Campaign was formed to fight repeated efforts by Southwark Cathedral to develop the church and garden for its own use. Southwark Cathedral is proposing to demolish All Hallows Church to make way for a private flats' development and, as a result, public access to the garden is likely to be eventually withdrawn. The proposed scheme will also ruin the quality of life of hundreds of residents on the Winchester Park Estate that adjoins All Hallows Church to the north. It will tomb in the blocks, take away residents' natural light, and lead to increased noise and artificial light levels. For further information, to join our campaign, and to view our alternative plans for the site that have been submitted to Southwark Cathedral, please visit our website www.saveallhallows.com.
Overall Planning Background
This is the third planning application Southwark Cathedral has for All Hallows Church and Community Garden in Borough, London SE1 in the past four years. The first application was turned down on conservation area grounds, the second on light values being reduced into the Winchester Park Estate, which adjoins All Hallows to the north. Southwark Council officers discovered that the cathedral had lied about the light values into the Winchester Park estate. Michele Sterry, Planning Officer, Southwark Council, is on record as saying the cathedral had been ‘misleading' about the light levels.
Latest proposal from Southwark Cathdedral (third planning application)
According to the most recent plans we (The Save All Hallows Campaign) have seen, Southwark Cathedral is proposing to demolish All Hallows Church (in the heart of a conservation area, and about 7 minutes walk away from the cathedral) and replace it with a complex of private rent flats, a worship space and a house for the canon pastor. A worship space and accommodation for the canon pastor already exist on the site. Knocking down the All Hallows complex will destroy a unique and historic conservation area. The cathedral consulted with residents on the first plans for the third application, but refused to consult on the revised plans so the local community does not know what is had in store for the site.
Destroying a Community and People's Quality of Life
Again, going on the last plans the cathedral team showed us, the proposal will also tomb in tenants on the Winchester Park estate (which adjoins the garden), taking away natural light and privacy. It will also eliminate sunlight. It will lead to an increase in artifical light and noise levels. The cathedral says it has now changed the plans, but because they refuse to consult with us, we no longer know how that scheme has been changed or what they have planned for the site. We can only go on the last plans we have seen. Quality of life will be ruined for the several hundred tenants who live on that estate under the most recent plans.
Destroying an award-winning Community Garden, Communal Green Space and a Conservation Area
We believe any scheme to demolish the church will destroy the award-winning, walled community garden, created by locals from the rubble of WW2 bomb site and managed by them for 40 years with no input from the cathedral, that it sits alongside. At best, the garden will be turned into the front lawn of a block of flats. Colin Slee, Dean of Southwark Cathedral, claims he will keep the garden open to public use. However, when he was asked to put this in writing, he refused to do so. He has stated this publicly. On those grounds, we believe the cathedral intends to eventually close the garden to the public for its own private use because this area is now a highly desirable place to live with its proximity to the river and Tate Modern.
Colin Slee Chooses to Maximise Profits Over the Wellbeing of a Community
Colin Slee argues he is legally bound to maximise profits for the church. Legal advice secured by our campaign suggests that the cathedral articles he is basing this assumption on are open to interpretation ie he does not have to maximise profits if that is done at the expense of a community. The church also has an ethical investment policy that Colin Slee's assumption contravenes.
Southwark Cathedral's Repeated Failures to Consult Southwark Cathedral did not consult with the community on the first two applications. They claimed they did hold a consultation on one of them but they said they couldn't let the people on the Winchester Park Estate know as they couldn't find their letter boxes. But tenants get their Xmas services' notices through their letter boxes every year. We only found out about this latest (third) application by accident, when a local found the plans tabled for discussion on a flier for a Bankside Residents' Forum meeting. Bankside Residents' Forum does not represent or speak for our community. The cathedral consulted with residents on the first plans for the third application, but refused to consult on the revised plans so the local community does not know what is had in store for the site.
Simon Hughes MP Resignation over Colin Slee's handling of the All Hallows affair Simon Hughes resigned from the Cathedral chapter over Colin Slee's handling of the second application.
Southwark Cathedral Plan makes No Financial Sense
The cathedral's scheme does not make financial sense. Colin Slee has stated publicy it will not make a return on investment for 20 years. Our campaign has submitted alternative plans that leading business people in the community say will generate as much money for the cathedral, if not more, than its own scheme. But the cathedral has turned down our offer to work with our business advisors to help them generate income in a way that keep the cathedral and the community happy.
What The Save All Hallows Campaign is looking for:
Una Devine of the Save All Hallows campaign says:
"What we really want is for Southwark Cathedral to work with our campaign, and our expert business and financial supporters, to find a solution to develop All Hallows that preserves the community's quality of life, public access to the garden, and the conservation area that has a unique arts and crafts feel. We want the church to be sensitively restored and developed in such a way that will benefit both the community and the cathedral. Additionally, we want Colin Slee to put his claims that the community garden will remain open to the public, into written legal form.
"Colin Slee's public statement that he will continue to submit planning applications for All Hallows if this third application is rejected is unhelpful and goes against the spirit of the church he claims to represent.
"If he would just sit down and talk with us it could head off a very bitter and public dispute that will drive a further wedge between our community, Southwark Cathedral and, by default, the Church of England. We feel by its failure to consult and by these repeated planning applications being submitted, our small community is being bullied by a religious organisation that treats part of its own congregation with nothing but contempt. This time around we will take our campaign of action a step further: to the doors of Southwark Cathedral itself.
"Futhermore, Southwark Cathedral's plans for All Hallows Church and Community Garden make a joke of David Cameron's ambitions to establish The Big Society, of which our community is already a shining example."
I am not directly involved with the garden although I walk past it from time to time. I understand about the church's need to be a good steward etc but the sheer pettiness of locking people out of the garden not only beggars belief but is about as non-Christian as you could get. The cathedral authorities should hang their heads in shame, apologise and open the garden up.
Another thought occurs. Bats are said to be flying in the area. Would it not be ironic if they roosted in All Hallows or the garden. They are protected. Perhaps someone should find out.