Arts centre crowdfunding busts Oxford House target by £6,000 to save ‘hidden’ chapel

Damage to Victorian 'hidden chapel' at Oxford House caused by leaking roof. Picture: OXFORD HOUSE

Damage to Victorian 'hidden chapel' at Oxford House caused by leaking roof. Picture: OXFORD HOUSE - Credit: Oxford House

A crowd-funding campaign that overshot its target in east London has raised £31,000 towards saving the ‘hidden chapel’ at Bethnal Green’s Oxford House arts centre.

Damage to Victorian 'hidden chapel' at Oxford House caused by leaking roof. Picture: OXFORD HOUSE

Damage to Victorian 'hidden chapel' at Oxford House caused by leaking roof. Picture: OXFORD HOUSE - Credit: Oxford House

The centre in Derbyshire Street, next to Weavers Fields, attracted donations from 170 wellwishers, busting their target by £6,000. Permanent repairs are needed for the leaking roof and restoration.

The crowd-funding cash is being added to a £1.4m Heritage Lottery grant for renovations to the Grade II-listed arts centre used by 30 charities which also includes a new café, new lift and replanted roof garden.

But in the meantime, the wood-lined 1884 chapel on the top floor had become unusable because of the leaking roof, with buckets and plastic sheeting having to be used every day in a losing battle to keep it dry. Temporary repairs were just stop-gap measures.

The centre wants its Victorian ‘secret chapel’ opened to the public for decades as part of a heritage project later this year.

Damage to Victorian 'hidden chapel' at Oxford House caused by leaking roof. Picture: OXFORD HOUSE

Damage to Victorian 'hidden chapel' at Oxford House caused by leaking roof. Picture: OXFORD HOUSE - Credit: Oxford House


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