Keir Starmer sits in a circle of people inside a church Russell Rook
Russell Rook

What is Keir Starmer’s favourite church?


During the election campaign, and before he became Prime Minister, Keir Starmer MP told us about his favourite church, St Martin’s Church, in Gospel Oak, London. 

“One of the many privileges of being Leader of the Opposition is that I get to see so many churches across the country,” shared Starmer. 

“While it is impossible to pick just one, I immediately think of St Martin's Church, in the appropriately named Gospel Oak, which is part of my constituency of Holborn and St Pancras. I regularly meet people from the community whose lives are made better by the work that they do.  


“A beacon of hope” 

“I have always enjoyed visiting St Martin’s and witnessing the impact of their work first-hand. During the pandemic, I was humbled to meet and thank volunteers delivering food alongside Queen’s Crescent Community Association. More recently, I met local leaders and volunteers to hear about the vital work they do for the local community at Christmas. At St Martin’s, the team and congregation, go above and beyond, time and time again.  

“St Martin's is a wonderful church and a beacon of hope for the wider community. As with many thousands of churches around the UK, St Martin's is an ordinary church doing extraordinary things. A place of safety, spirituality and service for so many.” 

A photograph of Keir Starmer inside a church
Russell Rook


Churches are the UK’s hidden support system 

Did you know that there are more food banks that are run from churches across our country than there are branches of McDonald's? 

Churches, like St Martin’s, are being used as warm shelters in cold periods and cool shelters in very hot summers. They are the biggest single resource for youth groups, mum and toddler groups, as well as being used by various support groups for people with addictions or health issues or to bring people together that are feeling isolated or alone. 

Churches are an incredibly important social resource. They are estimated to be contribute £55 billion a year of social and economic good. 

The Houses of Parliament pictured from above

We think churches are brilliant

The reality is that the closure of churches is the biggest heritage challenge the UK faces today. Read more from our Chair, Sir Philip Rutnam, about how the new UK Government can help keep churches, chapels and meeting houses open and in use so that they can continue to serve their local communities.

Read more