Writing to the Bishop



The Rt Revd Rob Wickham Bishop of Edmontonhttps://www.london.anglican.org/rob-wickham/

My Lord, … we are looking for support within the Church for our small community led housing proposal… The development would pioneer a new form of affordable housing made possible because the Church would retain ownership of the land. 

Families would be able to own their own homes but not have to buy the land and instead pay a ground rent to the Church. In that respect it is like buying a flat. 

The Church maintains a steady income stream and has helped create a community invested in the school and church. The houses would remain affordable in perpetuity…

The development explores the idea of intergenerational living with some of the characteristics of an extended family in which the old can provide some childcare and the young can help the elderly in various ways. The scheme also looks at how students or those starting work or just married can find their feet.

…Currently Council and Diocese are looking to marry the two sites which back onto each other and dispose of them at auction for development for luxury houses and apartments. The Council site is landlocked and the Diocese owns the access and so has the controlling interest. 

Our proposal offers an alternative model which while it will not furnish a Best Price lump sum up front it will deliver value in terms of Mission, for families and the community and almost certainly achieve better overall cash value in the long run…

The approach is a new and practical application of some of the principles recently promoted by the Archbishop and by the Mayor, and would help London Borough Enfield to deliver on their new obligations on Self Build. Indeed we believe Enfield will welcome the opportunity. 

They are already taking some quite brave steps on ‘custom build’ ahead of other boroughs and so this is an opportunity to give some encouragement that the great moral authority of the established church can lend.

This site offers a curiously unique symbol of cooperation of the two great pillars of Church and State to bring forward fresh answers to the biggest questions for families in Britain today…”

We waited for a reply and we did not have to wait long. The Bishop was happy to meet us and the meeting set for a month’s time!


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