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All Hallows opens new extension with honour for church worshipper

Woman brought up 'a stone's throw away' is asked to cut ribbon

01 May, 2018 — By Steve Barnett

Deputy mayor Jenny Headlam-Wells, Rev David Houlding and Margaret Tormey with architect Nicolas Weedon, who designed the church extension

BIRTHDAY girl Margaret Tormey was blessed with “a very special honour” on Sunday when she was invited to spend her 80th opening a new building at the church where she has been a worshipper all of her life.

Ms Tormey was thrilled to be asked to open the extension at All Hallows Church in Gospel Oak, where she was joined by David Houlding, who has been the vicar at the church for more than 30 years, and the Bishop of Fulham, Jonathan Baker. Camden’s deputy mayor, Councillor Jenny Headlam-Wells, also joined in the celebration and blessings at the Grade II-listed building as worshippers gathered to mark the new development on the south side of the church, which now houses a new community room, toilets and disabled facilities.

Ms Tormey cuts the ribbon

The front of the church, in Shirlock Road, has also been completely relaid, while the memorial court, which boasts the first war memorial to be erected in Camden at the end of the First World War, has also been given a much-needed makeover.

Bishop of Fulham, Jonathan Baker, outside All Hallows in Gospel Oak

“Our landing window looked straight across into the church,” said Ms Tormey, who grew up a stone’s throw away from the church in Roderick Road. “Where the new building is used to all be waste ground and filled up with ­rubbish. We used to run back and forth between Shirlock Road and Courthope Road and play there, back when children used to play outside.”

Ms Tormey, who previously worked in the X-ray department at the Royal Free Hospital, added: “I’m very happy to open the new building, it’s such an honour to be asked.” The works weren’t without their ­setbacks, however, the most dramatic of which saw scaffolding sent crashing onto residents’ cars during storms and strong winds last year.

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