Floating Church

The Diocese of London is building a church and community hub on a barge to be moored at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Hackney Wick.

 This is one of London’s largest new communities with 300 businesses and housing for 12,000 people yet it is also one in which 44% of households with children are in the top 5% of poorest homes nationally with very little space for free community activities to take place.

The Floating Church will be run in partnership by St Paul Old Ford and St Mary of Eton, and will welcome people of all faiths and none. Its use will be divided between worship and community activities with some commercial activities providing an income.

“the luminous expanding roof is inspired by church organ bellows and the sleeping pod of a VW camper van”


One day per week it will be home to a local disability group. At other times it will be an additional classroom for two local schools and a performance space for youth theatre groups.

Within five years, it is hoped that the community generated by the church will find a permanent base near-by allowing the barge to float off to provide a spiritual and social catalyst in another part of London. Allchurches Trust has given £10,000 towards the £534,000 costs and looks forward to going aboard.

“It was great to be able to visit St Mary of Eton and learn about the Diocese’s plans for a new floating church and community hub. I (have known Sue Makin for many years, and) think the project has the potential to provide an important community hub for Hackney and the Olympic Park. The designs are really interesting – creating a local landmark.” Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch