St Paul’s Church, Bow Common dates from 1958, replacing the original Victorian gothic church, gutted during the Blitz. The new St Paul’s was designed by architect Robert Maguire and designer craftsman Keith Murray and is an internationally renowned seminal work of post war ecclesiastical architecture. The pair completely re-thought the design of churches from first principles and developed a reputation for blending the toughness of New Brutalism with the humanity and warmth of the Scandinavian tradition. The church is rectangular in plan with projecting chapels to the north and east, and an octagonal entrance porch in the north-west corner, with a large pair of double sliding doors. Internally there are continuous aisles around all four sides of the central worship space, defined by concrete columns supporting the highlevel walls. In 2013 St Paul’s was awarded the best post-1953 church in Britain, following a competition held by the NCT.
The grant will help fund an Access Audit and Community Audit. The Access Audit will assess current access arrangements for St Paul's and provide recommendations for improvements to best support the community and to meet statutory requirements for the whole building. The Community Audit will consult with an array of stakeholders to help us better understand the issues, needs, and dynamics of the local community. The CA will also get to grips with the role St Paul’s does and could play in local life, and to understand who is and is not engaging with the building and why.