Between the devil and the deep blue sea now lies this swish new church barge.
The boat has been aptly christened Genesis after the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament (you know, the one with Noah’s ark).
The Genesis was designed by London-based architects Denizen Works and was commissioned as a mobile assembly space.
The wide-beam canal boat has a pop-up roof to allow for more head-room and can fit two vertical rows of benches with six rows.
There’s also a skylight to get in some natural light from the heavens.
It’s currently moored on the River Lee Navigation alongside the Here East media complex at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
It will be the home of new worshiping community St Columba East London, which is led by the Reverend Dave Pilkington.
The barge church is run in partnership with the churches St Mary of Eton and St Paul Old Ford, and serves areas around East London, Sweetwater, Hackney Wick, Eastwick and, of course, Here East.
Rev Pilkington, who was ordained in 2019, said: ‘The sight of Genesis on the banks of the River Lee Navigation is fantastic. With so many changes happening in Hackney Wick and Fish Island, we must constantly seek ways to help build community, so I am pleased to report that St Columba East is a community going from strength to strength.
‘With Genesis now in situ we can look forward to the next phase of growth, now with a space to support our desire for action, reflection and contemplation.
‘Despite the milestone of delivery being met, current circumstances require that we must take the necessary steps to manage risk and protect people by limiting access to the vessel.
‘Nevertheless, St Columba East met for the first time aboard Genesis two weeks ago and we can all look forward to a time when we the whole community can utilise this vessel to its full extent.’
Genesis will also be available to hire out for things like children’s theatre, interfaith celebrations, art exhibitions and business functions.
It’s due to stay on the Lee Navigation for three to five years before casting off in search of other places to park.
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