CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

New Christian ‘Lighthouse’ gets go-ahead in Finchley Road

Church needs £11million to build the six storey building with 450-seat auditorium

27 October, 2017 — By Tom Foot

The Lighthouse designs approved by Camden Council

A CHURCH is aiming to raise £11million to open a six-storey Christian centre after winning planning permission from Camden Council.

Holy Trinity Church, in Finchley Road, wants to build “The Lighthouse” as a place for Christian prayers and a “home for the worshipping community” with a 450- seater lecture hall, recording studio, café and an exercise studio.

Some nearby residents had objected to the planning application, warning that the new building – which will have an eye-catching circular motif – would “black out” neighbouring homes.

But scores of supporters had also written in, calling for councillors to approve the proposals. Councillors voted unanimously in favour of granting consent for the work at a meeting on Thursday night.

Speaking after the decision, Holy Trinity vicar Andy Keighley said: “We believe it is vitally important to consider how we are serving this current generation and future generations to come. The Lighthouse is our response.”

The building includes five flats with two apartments reserved as “theological student accommodation”.

Associate vicar Kristin Breuss added: “Lighthouse will add much-needed beauty to Finchley Road and be a place of community, sanctuary and social transformation.”

According to architects’ designs, the façade has been inspired by the “pure, universal form of the circle” and great rose windows of Christian buildings.

Cllr Giovanni Spinella told Thursday’s planningmeeting that the church did “laudable work” and was “an integral part of the community”, but he warned: “The design of the new building is one that will cause them a series of problems. A two-and-a-half-storey building is replaced by six-storey façade.”

Holy Trinity Swiss Cottage Church executive director Tim Keightley had said the church is looking for half of the £11m from the “church community” and half from individual donations.

 

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