Hackney clown service in jeopardy
- Credit: Archant
Clowns fear a world famous annual service celebrating their art is in jeopardy after they were asked to leave their historic home in a Dalston church.
Holy Trinity Church in Beechwood Road has been at the centre of international clowning since 1959, holding memorabilia and archives in a gallery and an iconic yearly service in memory of the father of clowning, Joseph Grimaldi.
But Clowns International claim the future of this historic institution is under threat after the church asked them to remove their belongings from the premises to make way for temporary classrooms to accommodate students at Holy Trinity Primary School.
The school, which is opposite the church, is being demolished and rebuilt, funded with cash from flats built on the site.
Clowns International secretary Tony Eldridge said the gallery is “a cultural asset to Hackney and London” and are appealing for a sponsor to house the archive and “save it from obscurity”.
You may also want to watch:
He continued: “I am surprised that it seems that Hackney Council appear not to have been involved in the proposed change of use, and yet were involved with the Methodist Church.
“If there has been a meeting of some sort regarding the use of the church, Clowns International has not been informed of the outcome. The trustees are concerned about the final outcome of all this uncertainty.”
- 1 'Massive stabbing' in Old Street forces Moorfields Eye Hospital to close
- 2 London Assembly election 2021: Meet the north east candidates
- 3 Islington reports lowest coronavirus infection rate in London
- 4 Islington's by-election candidates confirmed
- 5 Anti-LTN independent candidates deny creating new political party
- 6 Man, 70, charged with murder of Imani Allaway-Muir
- 7 Police appeal after moped rider left seriously injured in crash
- 8 Controversial plan to sell alcohol in Finsbury Park dropped
- 9 Islington election hopeful faces trial on intimidation, cocaine and ABH charges
- 10 What's opening in Islington when Covid lockdown rules ease on May 17?
Hackney Council confirmed that there was no formal planning consultation, as there will be no change of use for the building, meaning the Diocese didn’t need to apply for planning permission.
The London Diocesan Board for Schools confirmed that a “temporary nursery” would be housed inside the famous church, and that a log cabin is being constructed in the nave.
Performers come from around the world to attend the annual service at Holy Trinity, commonly known as the Clown Church, celebrating the life of Mr Grimaldi, who died in 1837, and lighting candles for other deceased clowns.
Vicar Revd Hudson-Wilkin, who also serves as Speaker’s Chaplain in House of Commons, declined to comment on the matter when approached by the Gazette.