Search

Church squatters host film screenings and yoga classes as they’re given two weeks to leave

17:30 12 March 2014

'Spiritual squatters' took over the Rochester Square church almost three weeks ago. Picture: Paul Wright

Archant

A congregation left without a home ­after worshippers broke into their church and made it their own “spiritual sanctuary” has won its battle to remove them from the premises.

Parishioners of the Rochester Square Spiritualist Church in Rochester Square, Camden Town, discovered their home of almost 90 years had been transformed into a new base for the squatters almost three weeks ago.

The half-a-dozen or so members of the Rainbow Family of Living Light said they ­entered believing it to be abandoned.

Inviting the previous congregation to come to “spiritual workshops and yoga classes”, they turned the church into a home, with sleeping and cooking areas.

But after a hearing at Central London County Court last week, the groups came to a “friendly agreement” with the squatters agreeing to leave by next Wednesday.

Graham Hewitt, assistant general secretary of The Spiritualist National Union, said: “Our congregation has been there since 1926 when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [Sherlock Holmes author] laid down the church’s foundations. The church was only temporarily closed for repairs. It’s all been a bit disturbing.”

Donny, one of the squatters, said the judge had been “very reasonable” to both groups.

The group say they will be putting on a series of free events at the church before they have to leave on March 19, including film screenings and yoga classes.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

08:41
Owner Saby Thukral at the opening party of her store in Heath Street

Struggling with the challenge of shopping for her fashion-conscious daughters in the area, a Hampstead Garden Suburb mother has opened up a new children’s shop in Hampstead.

Yesterday, 09:00
Claire Meir part of a charity raising money for books for Syrian refugees in Turkey. Photo: Nigel Sutton

A mother was inspired to fundraise to buy books for Syrian children in Turkey after imagining what it would be like if her son was fleeing devastating civil war.

Yesterday, 09:00
The primary school pupils enjoyed a range of workshops. Photo: Jacqui Sinnatt

Camden and Islington primary school children enjoyed a taste of creativity away from the classroom at the Primary Careers Fair held at the British Library.

Fri, 17:03
Ray Davies is returning to Hornsey Town Hall

Ray Davies performed one of his first gigs at the iconic venue when he was still at school, before going on to form The Kinks

Fri, 15:37
The coffin arrives for the funeral of David Gest arriving at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

Mourners have remembered music producer and TV star David Gest at a funeral service in Golders Green.

Fri, 13:34
PC Shane Moulds has been dismissed for misconduct

A Camden police constable has been sacked for punching a member of the public he was arresting and hurling abuse at him, calling him a ‘posh twat’

Fri, 13:33
Big Green Bookshop is raising money for Haringey schools.  Joint owner Tim West  pictured. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Two book owners was sickened when an opportunistic thief stole £600, but their customers were “unbelievably” supportive and in a “tsunami of loveliness” helped them raise more than nine times the amount in donations.

Fri, 12:39
Found dead: David Gest (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)

The funeral of David Gest is set to take place this afternoon at Golders Green crematorium, according to reports.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe