About the Project

St John at Hackney, the iconic Parish Church of Hackney, is undergoing a multi-million pound restoration project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The work will improve access to this much loved community heritage asset for many generations to come. The church is Grade II* listed and was built in 1792, replacing the earlier medieval church building that dates to 1275.

Design Team

This landmark project restoration brings together a world-class design team:

  • John Pawson CBE – the internationally-renowned designer whose work includes the Design Museum’s new home in west London and the Abbey of Novy Dvur in Bohemia.
  • Thomas Ford & Partners – the RIBA Award-winning architects, ecclesiastical and conservation specialists, whose recent major projects include work at Sheffield, Wakefield, Guildford, and Rochester Cathedrals.
  • Es Devlin OBE – the critically-acclaimed visual artist, winner of the 2017 London Design Medal, is inspiring some new installations. Her work ranges from collaborations with Beyonce, Kanye West, to the London Olympics and the English National Opera.

“At the heart of a project like this is the challenge of allowing architecture and people to come together in the richest ways possible. I am looking forward to playing my part in retuning an important piece of London’s historic fabric, to make exhilarating spaces charged with atmosphere and purpose.”

John Pawson CBE

Key Features

Recently, St John at Hackney has been opened up to new audiences, hosting gigs by Coldplay, Florence + the Machine, Robbie Williams, Emeli Sande and Ed Sheeran. Amazon Tickets describe the church as “one of the coolest and most distinctive concert spaces in London”.

The project is:

  • Returning the nave to its original Greek Cross plan layout by removing modern interventions
  • Installing a permanent raised platform
  • Updating PA, lighting and AV systems
  • Improving access
  • Constructing a new baptistery and Chapel of Christ the King
  • Renovating services to provide new toilets, meeting rooms, catering facilities and office space
  • Carrying out essential repairs and conservation work to the external fabric, roof, and memorials
  • Installing new solar panels on the roof
  • Delivering a wide range of heritage related activities and events, throughout the church, churchyard and online
  • Creating a range of volunteering roles, appointing a Community Engagement Officer and Heritage Apprentice


  • Winter 2017
    Confirmation of NLHF grant
  • Spring 2018
    Finalisation of designs
  • Summer 2018
    External fabric & Roof repairs
  • December 2018
    Main internal restoration works begins
  • Spring 2020
    New church hall & parish offices open in Hackney Gardens


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