Old beds, bell towers, poverty and homelessness - an evening at Union Chapel

By staff writers
January 13, 2012

Poverty and Homelessness Action Week will soon be upon us (28 Jan - 5 Feb) and as part of it there is a really worthwhile event taking place at Union Chapel in Islington.

For those who don't know, Union Chapel is one London's main music venues, and shows well how creatively old church buildings can be used. As well as having a great space for gigs, it also has a bar, rooms for use by arts groups and others in the community and has a crisis centre for the Homeless. The minister there is a good friend of Ekklesia's, Karen Stallard.

Ekklesia's co-director Jonathan Bartley went there this week to see Karen and other members of the Anabaptist Network, and took a trip up onto the roof and into the bell tower, where there is an art installation created by the artist in residence, Sarah Strang. It's well worth going and seeing. Called Movement in Sleep, it looks at contemporary homelessness and shows that Tracey Emin doesn't have a monopoly on beds. More here. She'll be very happy to take you up there (wear old clothes as you have to go out on the roof, and up some ladders on the outside of the building). If you can't make it up the ladders there is also a webcam in the main part of the church.

Anyway, there is an event at Union Chapel on Thursday 2nd Feb:

"What does freedom mean to you? Beyond Homelessness- How we see people sleeping on our streets with mind, body and soul or just another part of the fabric of the pavement?

It's an evening of reflection on homelessness and poverty, including a panel discussion, and it looks as if it will be excellent.

It's supported by Housing Justice and Margins, with Introductions by Alastair Murray, Deputy Director of Housing Justice and Laura Michener, Margins Co-ordinator. It'll be a great chance to see Sarah's installation too.

The full address is Union Chapel, Upper Hall Area, Compton Terrace N1 2UN Doors and Bar opens at 7pm

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