Holy Trinity Church in Cloudesley Square, until recently used by the Celestial Church of Christ, has been in need of major restoration for many years.  Now that the London Diocese has taken back possession of the church, a programme of repairs and improvement has begun which will hopefully restore the church to its former glory, assuming funding can be secured.  This section of the website is for residents affected by or with an interest in this topic.



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The Diocese have set up a splendid new website at www.cloudesleycentre.org to showcase the results of the "Tales from the Crypt" research project, to which several Association members contributed (see below).  At the heart of the website, under Tales, is a comprehensive summary of every one of the 178 former residents buried in the church crypt, together with longer articles on those of most interest.  As such, this new website expands considerably on the burials research carried out previously, mainly by Jenny Tatton.  

A new phase of research is planned and potential volunteers can sign up via the website or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  There is also a facility for registering your email address in order to receive updates on developments as the website expands.

The website also features various other church-related material, including Rebecca Preston's history of the church building, reported on previously, and artwork developed in partnership with our New River College school.  In the future, the Diocese plan to use the website to report on the progress of church restoration generally (see our church restoration blog) and its development into a community centre.  All Association members are encouraged to check it out.




Cloudesley Church LogoWe've received a letter from the Diocese (March 1, 2021) announcing a Zoom session to which all residents are invited to learn about progress on the church renovation and plans for the future, including landscaping the garden and business plan options.  Details as follows:

Date: Thursday March 11th at 7.00pm

Meeting ID: 999 7006 3658

Password: 264985


Update:  At the Zoom meeting Rosie Fraser and Kevin Rogers expanded on their earlier letter and gave an update on the current progress of the repair works (see here for our church restoration blog), further work to start this summer, and progress on the long term restoration.  Key points were as follows:

  • The current repair works are progressing well and the nave ceiling should be complete by June 2021.  Residents praised the contractors, Fullers, and their manager Danny Burns, for the quality of their work and for respecting neighbours' interests.

  • Work on converting the crypt to an ossuary, together with infrastructure works on drains, electricity etc, is expected to start in the summer.

  • The long term restoration work, as outlined at the St Andrews meeting in 2018, is now not expected to start until 2025/26 and is still contingent on funding which will not be formally applied for until this summer.

  • In the interim period of up to 5 years, the building will be open to residents and will have a mixed use of community activities and small comercial ventures such as artists' studios and maybe a cafe.

Rosie then asked attendees for their reactions.  These were generally favourable but a number of points were made:

  • There should be no amplified music or other major nuisances for neighbours.

  • There needs to be some sort of overall management of the various activities at the church during the interim period.

  • There was a plea for some refurbishment of the interior of the building to make it more attractive for the community and for commercial clients.

  • Several potential partners for the interim period were suggested such as the Business Design Centre, The University of the Arts, City Lit etc.  Residents have useful contacts in this respect.

Rosie will publish further details on the new communitycentre website (see above).

Later:  Rosie's slides from the meeting can now be downloaded at https://www.cloudesleycentre.org/future-cloudesley-centre



Ed OliviaWe've reported before on our now-famous Guardians at Holy Trinity - Ed Watts and Olivia Scarlett.  Sadly, Ed and Olivia moved out of the church in June but we've kept in touch and we can report they have married, are expecting a baby, and Ed continues to receive further accolades for his film work - an Emmy and an RTS award for Best Director.  Plus the Evening Standard published a three page spread entitled "Guardian Angels" this Wednesday 25 November 2020 which features these great photos in the church.  Ed is proudly holding what is, I think, his BAFTA award.  As you can see, the church is decorated throughout in "Celestial Blue" and the living quarters really aren't that bad at all!  You can read the whole article here.

Ed 1 copy



Ed 2





Cloudesley Assoc HeaderThe results of the Tales From the Crypt research, described in earlier posts below, can now be experienced in three forms - and they're all free!  See the attached flyer for details.



The exhibition has re-opened in the church itself and is open every Saturday from 11.00 to 2.00 for the next couple of months.  You can see the panels previously only available on the Diocese website as well as artwork created by pupils from the Bridge School.  This is also an opportunity to see inside the newly repaired south aisle (the new roof is magnificent but the rest of the interior needs a lick of paint!).

The Islington Gazette has done a nice write-up about the exhibition, here: 


Evening Talks

Three evening Zoom talks are being hosted by the Islington Society.  The first, on the history of the church building, by Rebecca Preston, has already taken place, but a recording is available here:  


Access Passcode: AU=1akE9

I highly recommend it - Rebecca has brought her Chronology of Holy Trinity Church to life with a great story and many new images.

Next up will be Susan Skedd on October 21 with a talk about the stories unearthed by researching the lives of residents buried in the church crypt, 1820-1855.  Having contributed to the research, I'll definitely be attending that!  And finally we have Rosie Fraser and Laura Moffat on November 26 with "Delivering a Grant-Funded Project".

Guided Walks

Islington Guided Walks have developed long and short versions of walks around the Cloudesley Estate and neighbouring areas inspired by the crypt research.  I went on the long version yesterday and it was marvellous!  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and her colleagues have used the stories of residents buried in the crypt to create a really insightful and compelling narrative about what life was like in the early days of the Cloudesley Estate.  The flyer gives details of dates and how to book.  But you'll need to move fast - numbers are limited by Covid restrictions and the first few walks are already booked up!

 Cats Book tonycover

 Cats Book tonycover IconA children's e-book entitled The Cats of Cloudesley Square has appeared on the internet, written by someone called Tony Burke and illustrated by his brother David.  Check it out - it's a charming poem, beautifully illustrated, about the stray cats who used to live in the churchyard (they seem to have gone now) who successfully fight a property developer who wants to demolish the church.  But a caveat is in order.  This is fiction kids!  The evil property developer Hugo de Beauvoir is made up and there never was, is, or as far as we know, ever will be a plan to knock down the church and replace it with  luxury flats!  Indeed, the church is currently being lovingly restored by the London Diocese, as we report in the blog below.





Blog picNow that restoration work on the church has actually started, we've created a Church Restoration "Blog" to keep you updated on progress.



Cloudesley Assoc Header

The Tales From the Crypt Exhibition mentioned in the earlier post, below, was only on for one day then had to be cancelled because of Coronavirus.  But don't despair, because the panels from the exhibition have now been published on the Diocese website, here.  Do take a look - it's a great story, beautifully illustrated.  Several Cloudesley Association members worked as volunteers on the project, led by our guide and mentor, Susan Skedd (here's Susan's Linked-In entry, complete with nice photo).  Here's a picture of most of us at Highgate cemetery, tracking down clues.  The picture serves as a volunteers' Roll of Honour - pictured, left to right are:

Highgate Outing

  • Nick Brealey

  • Derrick Chivers

  • (Highgate Guide - Peter - great value!)

  • Nick Collin

  • Sian Whitaker

  • Kieran Garvey

  • Virginia Low

  • Jenny Tatton

Not Shown:

  • Alison Pollard

  • Chris Wells

  • Patricia Wenz

The Diocese website also has links to another strand of the research carried out by Rebecca Preston which is also well worth checking out.  Rebecca researched the Chronology of Holy Trinity Church, together with a Summary Timeline 1811-1980.  The latter is a litany of requests for funds to repair damage wrought by water, fire, lightning (1963!) and just the passage of time - twas ever thus!  Interestingly, Dove Brothers were involved in repairs and restoration on no less than 5 times starting in 1867.

Update.  The attached flyer gives details of forthcoming talks about the project by both Rebecca and Susan as well as Islington Walks inspired by our research.



Celestial Girl Cropped

Celestial Sign Cropped

 My neighbour Henrietta has unearthed this interesting article about the Celestial Church of Christ (click to download) from the Sunday Correspondent of 1990.  Just for completeness, here are the lyrics to "The Ratcatcher's Daughter of Islington" mentioned in the article.



Cloudesley Assoc Header

The Diocese research project on Holy Trinity has now been running for almost a year and you can read about it on the Diocese website, here.  Several Association volunteers have been working on the "Tales from the Crypt" strand and our work will feature at an exhibition at the Islington Museum, 245 St John St (junction with Skinner St, below Finsbury Library).



Diocese Logo

Call for social history volunteers!  The Diocese have received funding for a project to research local Cloudesley history, focused initially on the parishioners of Holy Trinity buried in the crypt.  Download the press release here.  This exciting project will build on the work we have already started (read about that here).   Anyone wishing to volunteer to help with the research should contact the Diocese at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



Church Commissioners

Church Commissioners Draft Scheme, March 2019




St Andrews

Diocese meeting at St Andrews, October 2018.  The Diocese presented plans for Holy Trinity Church at a well attended meeting held in St Andrews Church, Thornhill Square.  The minutes of the meeting are included in the Association's December 2018 Newsletter, here.



London diocese

"Cloudesley Challenge" Newsletter.  The London Diocese has produced a newsletter setting out plans for the church restoration and asking for feedback from residents.  If you have views on the project, please complete the online survey at https://bit.ly/2Ocuf5d 




Holy Trinity.  A personal appreciation.


More History

More History.  Extract from Parish Churches of London by Basil Clarke, Batsford, 1966.


Letter Image

Draft Letter of Support from the Association to the Diocese regarding the church renovation.  Please tell Amanda whether you support the Association sending this letter or not.


Questionnaire Image

"Cloudesley Challenge" Questionnaire, March 2018.  Please fill this in if you wish to be involved in the church restoration project and return to Susan Speece at the Diocese


Update on the church, January 2018Update


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A Brief History of Holy Trinity Church.




Church Restoration Action Plan (2015 - now out of date).  





Church paintingChurch Images




Church East Window 2The East Window







Maria Gates 2More Windows






Reaching Out Detail

Reaching out to the Community




Tales From The Crypt


The Church Crypt



 Polling Day 3

 Polling Day at the church






#2 Nick Collin 2020-01-02 12:41
We'd love to see those photos Frances!
#1 Frances Bolton 2020-01-02 10:39
Went to Sunday school there in the fifties and early sixties, they had an annual Christmas tableau with angels and national dress ~ might still have photos