Mural could be painted on Grade II building in Woolwich

Greenwich Council has sent plans to add a mural and heritage plaque to the west-facing wall of the Christ Faith Tabernacle on Powis Street in Woolwich.

The church, also known as the Ebenezer Building, was formerly a Granada Cinema built in 1937 and is now a listed building.

The plans, sent in partnership with Historic England, include a mural designed by local artists Lison Sabrina Musset and Joseph Ijoyemi, co-founders of The Collective Makers.

The group is a not-for-profit company aimed at helping local emerging artists become recognised.

News Shopper: Plans for the design of the mural to be added to the former Granada cinema in WoolwiCredit: Turner.Works / The Collective Makers / Greenwich Council.Plans for the design of the mural to be added to the former Granada cinema in WoolwiCredit: Turner.Works / The Collective Makers / Greenwich Council.

If approved, the mural will “accentuate the historical importance of the building and culture of Woolwich”, according to planning documents.

Speaking about the project, Ms Musset and Mr Ijoyemi told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “[If approved], we are creating a community-led mural that will outline a timeline of what the building represented for Woolwich over the decades.

“We want to raise awareness for new/old local residents of its history and legacy.

“Like the original architects, our design will be a collaboration between us and the community.

“Our design will be unique; a blend of style and culture which reflects the mixity [sic]  of communities and heritage Woolwich has.

“We will use bold colours to captivate drivers and pedestrians from far.”

The inside of the building was designed by Russian theatre director Theodore Komisarjevsky, with the interior still featuring a historic hall of mirrors.

The heritage plaque proposed for the new wall is designed to resemble the decorative ceiling in the hall of mirrors.

According to planning documents, the plaque, if approved, will read: “Granada already had a reputation for designing some of Britain’s most glamorous cinemas, but this one was said to be the most romantic theatre ever built. 

It was 1937 – the golden age of cinema – and this 3,000-seat venue was Granada’s offering to Woolwich.”

A Greenwich Council spokesperson said: “As part of our plans to revitalise Woolwich, we have selected local artists to work together with the community and local groups to bring to life the story of its heritage and future.

“Subject to approval, the mural on Christ Faith Tabernacle is one of several, funded through the council’s partnership with Historic England, due to be unveiled in spring 2023 that will celebrate Woolwich’s historic high street, in a creative and unique way.”

The spokesperson said that Woolwich is a priority area for the council. The plans come after news last year of a planned revamp for Beresford Square and Powis Street, including a new water feature and garden.

This came alongside news of an updated leisure centre in the area at the old Wilko store.

A Historic England spokesperson said: “The murals around Powis Street are being delivered through the council’s partnership with Historic England, as part of Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) scheme to revitalise Woolwich town centre.

“The scheme aims to restore local pride and attract people back to their local town centres, acting as a powerful catalyst for increasing opportunities and prosperity.

“This particular project, delivered with government funding, will engage with local residents and see local artists deliver colourful and creative artwork that celebrates the history of Woolwich’s high street.

“One building, Cathedral Church of Christ Tabernacle (former Granada Cinema), is Grade II* listed so Listed Building Consent is needed for this project.”

Leave a Comment