St Leonard’s is, as it has been for centuries, the one constant and enduringly beautiful element in the Streatham environment. The church building makes an essential and irreplaceable contribution to the spiritual and social well-being of the community.
It was badly damaged by fire in 1975 but was rebuilt to become the light and airy space it is now, used by a number of community and special interest groups.
We are open every day to provide some space for individuals seeking peace and quietness away from the intense activity of Streatham High Road (one of the busiest road junctions in southwest London).
The building caters for all of these activities in a unique and valuable way, owing to its unusual architecture, location and historical role.
About the Redevelopment
We are a Registered Charity (No. 1131422) who are currently fundraising to redevelop and refurbish the church to provide modern facilities which will allow us to continue our work with community groups in Streatham.
|Congregation and gifts||£36,000|
|National Churches Trust||£15,000|
|Beatrice Laing Trust||£5,000|
|Garfield Weston Foundation||£10,000|
|Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)||£220,000|
|Non-cash contribution of our time||£9,500|
Huge thanks to those individuals and organisations who have supported us and continue to do so. Our fundraising work is involving Our congregation and whole community have been involved in the fundraising, and put on many events to help raise their contribution. We are also very grateful to the number of trusts who provide support to communities like ours.
The funds so far have supported repairs to the roof; improvements to the catering facilities and amenities; and most importantly, improvements to access points to the church, including wheelchair ramps and internal changes to reduce obstacles to people with limited mobility or sight.
Update September 2018 – An unexpected repair
As the work on the South roof, toilets and kitchen reach completion we need to turn our attention to the North Porch at St Leonard’s.
An unexpected crack developed in the North Porch during the first half of the year and it is in urgent need of repair.
Applications are currently with potential funders, and plans have been drawn up to not only achieve a repair but to also use the opportunity to make better use for the space in the North Porch for community use.
Two small rooms will replace the bulky and rarely used staircase, and access to the gallery will be bought in the main Nave of the church by a sensitively designed staircase from the gallery platform. This will enable the church to offer an excellent crèche facility to users and provide a small counselling room at gallery level.
Furthermore we are replacing both our ancient and highly unreliable sound system in October and replacing the church boilers.
The overall cost of this project is in excess of £150K and we hope work will begin in the new year. With some new chairs arriving around Christmas, it feels as though St Leonard’s is moving nearer to making its Redevelopment vision a reality.
Looking ahead – Access for all
One of the main areas of concern continues to be our desire to make St Leonard’s more accessible to the widest possible group of people, especially those with disabilities.
Our gallery is a currently only accessible to those without disability and we are committed to addressing this issue.
In 2018 we hope to provide a lift onto the gallery, widen to surface space so that wheelchair users can access the area, provide chairs with arms for those who require the extra support when standing and to ensure that our doors provide low level visibility and open automatically for those who need it.
There is also an urgent need to improve the quality of our lighting throughout the church but most especially in the main Nave particularly to assist those with limited visibility.
It’s a big vision but we are excited by it because we want St Leonard’s to be a space that is useful to and used by the community of Streatham in a variety of ways, not simply for Sunday services. The better the facilities we offer, the more people can enjoy our beautiful flexible space.
Download the plans for the gallery and north tower:
- Gallery proposals (pdf)
- North tower staircase proposals – plan (pdf)
- North tower staircase proposals – section (pdf)
Continue to support us
We are continuing to hold fundraising events. Please keep an eye on What’s On. Do you have ideas for fundraising yourself?
You can give to St Leonard’s at any time via Paypal (BT Donate coming soon). Please include a message if you wish your donation to go to the Redevelopment Fund. If you prefer, there are also other ways you can donate.
Your support is vital if we are to be able to make these improvements to the church. Thank you.
Latest updates and news
- £73,000 donation from Veolia improves access at St Leonard’s
- Veolia awards £72,955 to help redevelop St Leonard’s Church
- Allchurches donates £6,250 for roof, kitchen and loos
- Beatrice Laing donates to redevelopment fund
- Redevelopment Progress Report 1 – May 2018
Our original plans for phased redevelopment
In the Statement of Need, we identified a number of areas that needed to be improved to provide modern amenities that met the changing requirements of the congregation and wider community:
- Roof repairs: We have fixed one half of the roof, but we are still not watertight and the state of the south slope of the roof is worsening, with water coming in when there is rain.
- Improved access: St Leonard’s has street level access for people with limited mobility from one gate, but the lavatories are virtually unusable for people in wheelchairs and the kitchen is only accessible to two people at once, again, not if they have a disability. The churchyard is poorly lit which is an issue for people who have limited mobility and those with poor or failing eyesight.
- Lavatories: These are needed for St Leonard’s to be suitable for hire, accessible and a good place for children.
- Kitchen space: We need a better kitchen space in order to better serve the community who wish to use the venue for events.
When we have fixed the roof and basic facilities, we will move to phase 2:
- Environmental concerns: The wooden doors into the church, and between the narthex and nave, are an important part of keeping the heat in. However, when they are closed, the church looks unwelcoming. We are looking at options such as a glass sliding door.
- Lighting and sound: The church lighting and sound systems are old fashioned and, again, reduce access for people with sight or hearing loss.