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All Hallows Church, Copperfield Street

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Friday 10 June 2005 8.29pm
Some one should write to the department of heritage and ask for the whole site to be listed.
Saturday 11 June 2005 1.59am
I think that's a good idea. I was planning to write and I think it would help if as many people as possible write to English Heritage to request that these buildings, as well as the garden, are listed. The address is:

English Heritage
23 Saville Row
London
W1S 2ET

I understand letters should go to the attention of Susan Thompson, who is responsible for listed buildings in this part of London.

Since the Cathedral's plans have now been submitted to Southwark Council's Planning Department, it would be a good idea to copy the letter to Southwark Council's Conservation Officer at Chiltern House, Portland Street, SE17 2ES.
Saturday 11 June 2005 8.46pm
thnks for that information i'l do that
Monday 13 June 2005 12.44pm
"We have intentionally developed this scheme to enable the garden to be preserved" added the Dean who points out that the height of the new flats is lower than the roofline of the former church which occupied the entire site up to the pavement."

In regard to this quote from Colin Slee in london se-1 news, the Cathedral architect maintains only that the 'majority of the trees will remain'. The entrance will change, and the perimeter wall 'may' change. Most importantly the special quality of the place will disapear as it becomes a forecourt to a building as high as the adjacent Sainsbury office building.

It is also unfathomable that Colin Slee would support his plan by citing 19 Century conditions:'the height of the new flats is lower than the roofline of the former church which occupied the entire site up to the pavement'.

Wednesday 15 June 2005 7.24pm
Just to let you know I did put those letters in the post
Thursday 16 June 2005 4.25pm
There was a 'public' meeting regarding the All Hallows scheme last week at Charles Dickens School. I regret that none of the design team was invited. Subsequently I have receieved a letter from Simon Hughes MP concerning the scheme and the planning application that has been submitted.

These are extracts from my reply to him, they may assist people with some factual information.


" I refer you to your files for the Cathedral Council, from those papers you will see you have been made aware of the plans for All Hallows Church for over two years and have had ample opportunity to contribute to the discussion. You will have had the Minutes of those Council meetings as well as the Minutes of Chapter meetings (the latter are sent to members of the Cathedral Council for information). I usually write a Dean's report for the Cathedral Council and during that period, the scheme has consistently featured in my report. Every Easter, as a member of the Cathedral Council, you receive my Annual Report for the year. My reports for 2004 and 2005 contain entire paragraphs about the scheme. It is a matter of regret that it was suggested in your letter to me, and to the meeting last Tuesday, that such knowledge is recent.

We have been inviting you to see the plans and the model for well over three months. The first letter was sent out on January 21st. Marie Tims has been in touch with your office, or tried to be in touch, and received no reply, on many occasions since then. It is a great pity that you were not available to see the scheme before June 6th. One earlier appointment was made and you cancelled it, but even that was only a few weeks ago. The suggestion arising from 'only yesterday' in your letter, and which you made at the meeting, was entirely misleading.

With regard to public consultation, we have spent two years in discussion with representatives of Southwark Council's Planning Department; the scheme owes several elements to their advice. We instructed architects to develop a scheme which includes several features directly beneficial to the local community (restoring a largely derelict site to beneficial use, retaining the garden as available for community use, housing a resident parish priest, recovering a worship space/hall which can be used for services, bringing a significant charity in to the area, additional housing).

The materials to be used and design proposed respond to the advice we received from local officials familiar with the area. The area could be more comprehensively or densely developed, at cost to the community benefit; the present scheme is a significant investment by the Cathedral Chapter in community provision and conservation. We have designed a building that is below the udp density guidance for a site within the Central Activity Zone, to take account of the scale and massing of the existing context. To meet the udp suggested density, we would need a building of 6-8 floors, depending on the footprint or, of course, higher.

We have taken expert advice and consulted the Church Commissioners with regard to the impact on the adjacent blocks of flats, leafleted the immediate neighbours, held two consultation evenings with local residents, following which the scheme was adapted, and had some individual conversations with people who expressed interest. The scheme was widely publicised through Cathedral publications over an extended period (for example, there was an entire article two months ago in the Cathedral's monthly magazine); the model was displayed in the Cathedral for the public to view on three successive weekends and notice given in the weekly notice sheet (on one Sunday, I drew the congregation's attention to the model verbally as well). The annual audited accounts are published as per proper regulation in March/April under ecclesiastical regulations akin to a SORP, they contain a preface which is explanatory. Clear reference is made in that preface to the All Hallows scheme. Those accounts are a specific item on the agenda of the APCM (Annual Parochial Church Meeting) and available in advance of the meeting to anyone who asks. Unusually, I publish my own annual report several weeks in advance of the APCM; no-one, including local residents who are neighbours to All Hallows, raised any concerns about the scheme in 2004 or in 2005. Local councillors have been invited to see the plans and model and tour the site but declined, even when offered any date or hour of their choosing.

I am inclined to say, therefore, that the assertion in your letter: '...plans...have not benefited from a sufficient discussion with members of the local community who will or might be affected…' is perhaps based upon a misrepresentation.

I am interested that your letter makes no reference whatsoever to the obligation upon the Chapter to make the very best use of its assets. There are those who would argue, and may yet do so in the light of the udp, that a much denser development could earn a higher income, we believe that we have the Balance right but must fulfil our obligations carefully.

In the light of this, you will understand, therefore, that I must tell you that your suggestion that the present scheme should be withdrawn is clearly unacceptable and the basis on which you make it is profoundly flawed. We are now embarked upon a formal planning process and believe that there are adequate resources within that process, including statutory public consultation, for any difficulties to be resolved.

I note that you suggest the local community are willing to co-operate in the development of an alternative scheme, I assure you that all ideas are welcome. Your letter gives no real detail of what would make people happier (we will certainly listen), nor do you say how such a scheme would be funded during preparation. Any alternative will need to meet, as a minimum, the criteria we gave to our architects, therefore it would: be commercially viable as a development; achieve an income level at least equal to the present proposals which will pay for the development costs and become an increasing income stream from that level for the Cathedral; meet the Local Authority density requirements for occupancy; house the Canon Pastor as per the Church Commissioners' 'Green Guide' specification; ensure the creation of a worship space and recovery of the original architectural features of the church that can be retained, using materials suitable for the conservation area; maintain the garden as at present existing; be DDA compliant; provide adequate accommodation for commercial letting to a community beneficial charity, the present floor area has been negotiated over an extended period and is adequate.

You may be unaware (although it was mentioned while you were with us on June 6th), that we had previously arranged a presentation of the scheme at the regular, scheduled Bankside Residents' Forum meeting on June 21st. That is an established diary commitment for the design team and will be fulfilled. I do not think, therefore, that any additional meeting needs to be arranged.


Colin Slee.
Thursday 16 June 2005 10.34pm
I sort of feel the special contemplative atmosphere of the garden which is a living war mamorial and historic site is some thing that can't be re manufactured.

And from reading the posts on this thread the materials gray glass and steel aren't in keeping with the area.
Friday 17 June 2005 4.27pm
Colin Slee regrets that the design team was not invited to the recent public meeting yet in the two years that he says the Cathedral has been working with Southwark Council Planning Dept he has held only two meetings with residents to discuss his plan; one private, the other restricted. None of the suggestions which residents made at these meetings was adopted by the design team. None of the residents of the adjacent flats were invited to these meetings. Colin Slee's assertions that ‘all ideas are welcome' and that he has ‘no real detail of what would make people happier (we will certainly listen)' seems disingenuous.

As far as the ‘individual conversations with people who expressed interest', the Cathedral's Sarah King has stated that the reasons for replacing the (Edwardian) Church Hall are ‘Victorian buildings were badly built' and ‘old buildings are difficult to heat', which suggest this plan has not been competently thought through.

Colin Slee is assuming we all get our news from Cathedral publications yet local residents knew nothing of these plans until April 2005.

It remains difficult to understand how Colin Slee would be able to see the destruction of the Conservation Area and the peace of the garden as ‘beneficial to the local community'. As already noted, making the ‘the very best use of its assets' refers also to the Cathedral's duty to maintain All Hallows and prevent it falling into disrepair.
Tuesday 19 July 2005 7.36pm
There is an All Hallows Objectors Meeting to be held on Wednesday 20 July 2005
6:30 - 8:30pm

at

The Jerwood Space, Union Street, SE1

* Up to the minute information on progress
* An opportunity to talk through your objection letter with your neighbours
* To discuss possible other uses for the site

The Jerwood Space have kindly offered a room for free.

Hope lots of you can come along too.
Wednesday 20 July 2005 2.28pm
I was by the garden today for the first time in 2 months, and saw the details of the meeting at The Jerwood Space. I work fairly close by, in Nelson Square, and have occasionally used the garden to relax, read, and unwind in. But I hadn't been aware directly of the active proposals and plans to redevelop. There was some reference to it in a Southwark Cathedral newsletter that I saw, back in April I believe, but it wasn't as far as I recall couched in terms of a tangible scheme.

Dean Colin Slee (and it is the Dean and Chapter who are responsible for the Cathedral, and not the Bishop) has a pretty hard line on the need for viability and commercial enterprise.

The following sample, on his reaction to proposals for the Cathedral to adopt a Fairtrade policy, within a Trade Justice/Make Poverty History framework (the Cathedral was sporting a spiffy large MPH banner on Monday), gives a further flavor of the stern business like approach, and the context of their need for cash, now and over the next five years.

My apologies for quoting at length.

It is though interesting that despite the investment in the shop etc., it is barely profitable - which may be a comment on the arms-length stewardship and management.

And - and a bit off topic, but indicative - St Pauls Cathedral Shop stocks fairly traded goods from Shared Earth, amongst others, and their restaurant and cafe (managed and run by Milburns, a division of Compass Group) stocks Fairtrade certifed coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and sugar, and is looking at sourcing Fairtrade wines. These they do because of their client's (ie the Cathedral) request, customer demand, and that it can and does make commercial sense.

Back to Southwark:

"The Cathedral Shop is a matter of financial stability for the Cathedral's work it is not a charity shop, it is a commercial enterpise. I get very tired of people suggesting it should offer goods which are not geared to maximising profit and frequently are manifestly sub standard. Those who make such suggestions need to remember what market research shows about the goods that people wish to purchase and, if they think it should run less profitably (it is barely on the margins as it is, even though similar
outlets like the Globe tell us that it is the best such shop for miles
around) then they need to produce a serious business plan for a better income from an additional source or treble the amount that the congregation gives each week voluntarily and reduce the dependence on the Enterpises income. We conducted very careful market research before devising the Millennium Scheme, the sort of goods the shop sells are dictated by that research, there is no case for changing the policy."

"The shop policy is a matter for Southwark Cathedral Enterprises Ltd Board, it is not decided by the Chapter. The Board keeps a very close eye on what sells and what does not and has discussed Fair Trade at regular intervals and always rejected the idea as commercially non-viable. You will find similar policies in other cathedrals, St Pauls for example has just made radical alterations and gone seriously up-market to more luxury goods, with good results in terms of income-earned."

"The Chapter will be welcome to discuss what it likes in September but the fact remains that it has ultimately to Balance the books, this year's budget is running abiout 20,000 overdrawn at present and we are only half way. We need about 5million in the next five years and that is their ultimate responsibility.

Naturally the Chapter can resolve that it supports G8 intentions etc. but that is a political international economic debate which has serious ptrotectionist issues within it, it is not about the Cathedral Shop or poor coffee on Sundays."



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