At Londonist we firmly believe in second chances.
So, we are pleased to read that St Stephen's, Hampstead, which has been standing empty and neglected for more than 30 years, is coming back to life this spring.
The building, designed by Greenwich lad Samuel Sanders Teulon (1812-73), is considered one of London's finest Victorian Gothic churches. Completed in 1869, the church closed for worship in 1977 as congregations dwindled, and the building fell into a derelict state.
Luckily, proposals to develop luxury flats (radical!) and a hospital car park (we hope they still got one) were dismissed, and the building achieved Grade 1 listed status. Squatters tried their luck until, in 1999, the St Stephen’s Restoration and Preservation Trust was awarded a lease to restore the church. St Stephen's has been transformed into a multi-purpose event space.
Now funky young theatre company Antic Disposition are taking residency of the £4m-refurbed space, and breathing new life into the old building. Their season is called Second Chances, and features The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Much Ado About Nothing, and A Christmas Carol.