St Matthew’s Church in the Boulevard, West Hull has recently opened its doors to its local community for the first time in six years, writes Chris Tooby.
The church, which had become a target for vandalism and anti-social behaviour, has recently received a grant from the housing charity ‘gyroscope’, as part of a restoration scheme that has seen the building transformed into a local community venue.
It has quickly made it the favourite cultural venue for Hull resident, Pelle Hjek, who has become a regular visitor and stallholder at the informal food markets that have been held there in recent months.
Pelle said that the organisers are hoping the church will become a thriving community hub with opportunities for smaller suppliers such as himself to sell their homemade produce. He added:
“There is a really good vibe about the place. Just ordinary people, like myself, can come down and sell their produce and sample other people’s cooking as well. I managed to sell some quiches that I made, and sampled bits from other stalls.”
“The cake here is really delicious,” he added with a grin.
Pelle went on to explain that the church was also beginning to be used during the week by local people as a drop-in centre and a place for coffee mornings. He said:
“Although there is still a long way to go before the full restoration is completed, hopefully it will go from strength to strength, building up on local support.
“I hope they don’t want a big grand opening when it’s complete, it’s nice and informal and that’s why I like it.”
He smiled and laughed, ” It’s my favourite place because it’s local and small-scale. We certainly don’t want Peter Levy or Look North to come down, that would spoil it all!”
Future events planned for the church will take place during the next few months, and will include a library, post office and cultural and art themed markets.
Further information and updates can be found by following the link on their website.