I think, but am not sure, that the window you describe is still there - at least a stained glass window was one of the items mentioned in a consultation meeting about the proposed demolishion. I think the glass is in the church hall rather than the main church. I don't know who you would get in touch with to gain access but you could start by trying the Dean at Southwark Cathedral - Colin Slee.
The Church garden is really pretty and a lovely place to sit as it's hidden away from residential/office blocks, busy roads and the railway. It is not looked after by the City - it has been looked after for years by two or three local residents - not connected to the church - just people who live here and enjoy making this area worth living in.
I'd like to see a photo of the stained glass if you do manage to get it on the net.
Hope you manage to get down to the garden on your next London visit.
Thanks very much for the info. I'll try to get the photo on the net soon and may follow-up to see if I could get inside the building. It would be really wonderful to find out the window survived as I accepted readily that it would have been destroyed when the church was damaged.
think it's wonderful when people in a community get involved to look after things like that park. A little green space can be so refreshing and appreciated.
Niall has a point. However it may be more practical to be clear which aspects of the development may be acceptable and which are not.
By and large you should have a good chance of winning an argument about green space, especially public access. I don't know if Southwark has a parks forum. If so I assume they have been regularly fighting to prevent the erosion of pockets of green. The Bankside Open Space Trust would be a good place to start.
Looking for support is key. Lambeth once wanted to auction off the parks keepers lodge in Archbishops. Since the building was red-brick, built in the seventies and had been squatted for ten years, I really didn't think others would care. Even though I thought it was very shortsighted to sell off assets that could then never be replaced. But I was wrong. A lot of North Lambeth had been under
similar threat and we got massive support, sufficient for Lambeth to acknowledge that they had not realised how attached people were to the building. (The method was an email circulated and forwarded across the area, which asked everyone to email the Chief Executive. One way to get the attention of senior managers!) The house was withdrawn from auction with five days to go.
Similarly with a planning issue, if the developers are aware that Southwark will receive a lot of individual letters objecting to a planning application, they may be tempted to reduce their ambitions in advance. Nothing irritates a planning department more than when a large development is presented to them which is clearly opposed by the community at large. But someone has to do the hard work or informing, guiding and encouraging that opposition. Ideally a local tenants or residents association or a green space group might lend support. There are also organisations such as Planning Aid for London who do provide technical advice. But I suspect that there is no substitute for getting a small group together and leafleting, writing and protesting.
is it on the planning website yet? i can't find anything under pepper st or copperfield st.
would be a shame really. why does everything with a bit of character seem to have to make way for more uniform boring looking new development? (lant st is a good example)
(for the greedy developpers don't care of course)
+a green spot lost in this area would be tragic.
No I could'nt find anything on the planning website either, but I don't think the plan has been submitted yet, I think it is only in the consultation stage. Hopefully we can stop it before it gets to the planning stage.
Yes, we have been told that the garden will be kept .....but we cannot help but think that the now public garden will become, or at least treated as private, after it becomes the front garden of a 5 story 15 apartment building (thats if it doesn't get buried by the building work.)
We are also concerned that the building will be only 3 to 4 meters from our block of flats and the same hight, therefore blocking all light and giving views from their access walkways straight into our bedroom windows!
I live local and am still in touch with the vicar who was there for many many years, he may be able to shed light about the interior, or any questions you may have!
The garden is loked after by a couple of gentleman who live local and have spent many many years caring for this lovely garden, in the summer it is a pleaseure to sit and relax in the sun!
A beautiful place that would have been left toruin if these two gentleman had not spent many hours tending it!
i do not much about planning applications, but one thing taken into consideration by the planning officers is the "loss of privacy" ;close to here a planning application was refused on grounds of that (with other reasons).
There are several ideas in the exchange of messages that it may be helpful to clarify.
1. The site is the responsibility of the Cathedral and has been to some degree derelict ever since it was bombed in WWII. Nevertheless it remains consecrated ground.
2. There have been two consultation evenings. People invited to the first one were about thirty with whom we had direct contact because we know them personally, e.g. they are in the congregation, members of staff, people with whom we have contact for other reasons. The second evening was wider, by hand-delivered invitations, just over thirty people came nearly all of whom were not at the previous evening. Security doors prevented us from contacting some people, but we tried as much as we could to contact everyone in the immediate vicinity.
3. The initiative comes from the Dean and Chapter. It is not a Church Commissioners' site and not their scheme. The development costs will lie with the Cathedral and any income after all the costs of the development have been met will go to the Cathedral.
4. Therefore there is nothing within the scheme which relates to Church Commissioners' work funding the payment of the clergy, or running neighbouring housing estates etc. (Incidentally, congregations are growing steadily in Southwark not declining).
5. By charitable law the Dean and Chapter must ‘maximise' the Cathedral's resources. This could be done by deconsecrating the site and disposing of it to a developer. The Dean and Chapter are not at liberty to leave the site in its present increasingly dangerous state and must find a way to make it a financially secure resource, therefore we have devised a scheme which, to the best of our ability, gives the community real benefits whilst at the same time fulfilling our fiduciary duties.
6. The Chapter has sought to develop a scheme which meets a number of criteria:
• Housing the Canon Pastor within the parish. The housing of the clergy is tightly specified because they use their houses for work and the housing is a part of the stipend. This is in order to make clergy accessible and able to live within the community they serve.
• It has been a Cathedral policy for the past ten years to bring the clergy in from the widely separated and dispersed housing that they previously occupied. We have received very favourable feedback on the policy of working more closely within the community, housing the Canon Pastor locally is a key part of this strategy.
• Creating a ‘Worship centre/Community hall' that can be used for Cathedral work and let to Community Organisations, thereby respecting the consecrated ground status of the site at least in one part of it. For the same reason the original Sanctuary is being preserved.
• We have been well aware of our own and other organisations' needs for some sort of community centre facility which can be let for use.
• Offering housing which will generate income and be useful within the community. This is not ‘affordable' or ‘low-cost' accommodation neither is it ‘luxury development'. The scheme has fifteen flats which we envisage will be let at open market rents. We are obliged to ensure the Cathedral pays for itself. It does not receive anything other than what it generates itself; the Church of England, contrary to many peoples' ideas, is not government-supported, nor can the Church Commissioner's give support to cathedrals except in two very defined and limited ways.
• Generating additional income from office space which can be let to a charity. We have one in conversation with us that will benefit from the close proximity of the Medical school, Children's' Hospital and stations. If they cannot afford the space then we will seek to let it to other charitable foundations with whom we work.
• Retaining the existing garden and the raised Sanctuary area of the church as well as the remaining arches and entrance arch. There is an error in the local authority documentation for the area, which the London Borough of Southwark acknowledges. The gardens in Copperfield Street are not a public open space, they are part of the bombed church and are consecrated land in the care of the Dean and Chapter.
• The Chapter knows that this green space matters to the local community and has intentionally developed this scheme to enable the garden to be preserved.
7. The Chapter is well aware that the area is a Conservation Area and has developed the present scheme in close consultation with the Southwark Council Planning Department so that it is within the terms laid down for a Conservation Area and uses materials which have been agreed to be suitable. As custodians of the oldest Grade 1 listed building in South London we are acutely conscious that Conservation requires sensitive development and change. This is one reason, for example, that the proposed development is actually lower than the original roof-line of the nave of the bombed church which was an enormous building occupying all the site right up to the pavement line.
8. Likewise we are aware that there are some issues regarding light and for that reason we have employed expert consultants to advise us on the scheme and ensure we meet the stipulated regulations.