St. Stephen’s is a Grade II* listed building which has been at the very heart of this neighbourhood – now a beautiful and much-loved conservation area - since its inception over 150 years ago. St. Stephen’s is an intrinsic part of our local landscape and a highly valued centre for community life.

Was almost closed
In 1991 St. Stephen’s Church was closed – supposedly for good. The building was in such an atrocious state of repair that plans were made for demolition and for probable residential development.

Saved by the community
Thankfully, a team from Holy Trinity, Brompton, led by Rev. Tom Gillum, were able to put together a rescue package, with the generous support and donations of local residents and Westminster City Council. Over time the building was restored – thanks largely to a huge grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund – and a great deal of time, hard-work and commitment from Tom and his team.

Now a living Church
Once more St. Stephen’s is a place of Christian worship and prayer with a vibrant, multi-ethnic congregation. It is also a building of great value to the wider community, hosting a wide range of valued activities, for young and for old, seven days a week, accumulating in at least 25,000 visits to our buildings each year. Some of the uses of the Church building today include:

· pre-school music activities (8 separate sessions each week)
· support groups
· fitness and social activities for senior citizens
· resident’s association meetings
· a ballet school
· a Montessori nursery
· a cello school
· children’s parties
· charity events
· concerts
· conferences
· training events
· lectures and presentations
· worship and related activities for two congregations

Friend’s of St Stephen’s
It is hard to imagine the impact on this neighbourhood if the demolition had gone ahead and St. Stephen’s was no longer in existence… Since the re-opening we have invested time, money and hard work into maintaining and restoring these beautiful premises. This is very expensive. The funding for the building work comes mainly from members of the congregation. We receive nothing towards these costs from local nor national government, nor from the central Church of England. The future condition of our buildings is firmly in our own hands. In order to help us keep St. Stephen’s at the heart of our community and maintain its beauty and usefulness, we invite you to become a Friend of St. Stephen’s Church.

By becoming a Friend of St. Stephen’s Church, your financial support would be used exclusively to support the fabric of the church, that is the building, churchyard and fixtures including the stained glass. Your support will make a huge difference, enabling us to undertake much needed restoration and refurbishment.

The funds collected by the Friend’s of St Stephen’s will be used to finance projects approved by the PCC of St Stephen’s. Over the next 12 -24 months we hope, with your support, we would be able to start work on a number of vital projects such as:

· repairs to stained-glass windows
· restoration of war memorial
· restoration of font
· upkeep of the garden
· essential repairs to the garden walls
· annual maintenance of clock and bell
· repairs to tower roof

As a Friend of St. Stephen’s we would like to keep you updated on the progress you make possible. As a result we will be in touch at least twice a year with news from St. Stephen’s. We would also like you to see how we have been moving forward and will invite you into St. Stephen’s to see the projects the Friend’s of St. Stephen’s have funded.

How you can become a Friend of St Stephen’s
To become a Friend of St Stephen’s send us an email: friends@ststephenschurch.info, or send us a letter with you name, address, contact details and cheque - payable to the Friends of St Stephen’s Church.

Membership is a minimum donation of £100, or a monthly direct debit of £5/month.

Please note donations will not be eligible for Gift Aid.

Your contact details will be administered by the Friend’s scheme and details will not be passed on to any other organisations.

If you would like to see the full Terms of Reference for the Friends of St. Stephen’s, or would like to see a copy of last year’s annual accounts, please contact us at: friends@ststephenschurch.info

St Stephen's Church
Westbourne Park Road
London W2 5QT

T: 020 7221 9329
E: parishoffice@ststephenschurch.info

Copyright © 2011 St Stephen's Church