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A sense of community in Hither Green

March 28, 2010

It’s clear just from watching the opening of this video that my interviewing skills probably need honing just a bit.

Even so, don’t let that detract you from the main point implicit in this particular video interview: the importance of community.

I’m talking real community by the way, not just that online community thing.

And maybe it was that more traditional definition of community spirit which came through loud and clear when I finally located Hither Green Hall organiser Max Calo making pizza in the St Swithuns Hall vicarage kitchen on the day of the hall’s grand opening.

St Swithun’s was the location for the latest Hither Green Cinema screening supported by Lewisham Council and the Lewisham Film Initiative.

Built in 1884, St Swithun’s Hall isn’t the most attractive of looking venues on the outside. Set back from Hither Green Road skirting the edge of the Corbett estate,very little to say about it. It’s just one of those buildings you see from the road as you pootle around London. It’s essentially nondescript. And yet it’s vital.

With funding from the Diocese of Southwark, Lewisham Council, central government and various fundraising efforts and private donations, the hall has recently been renovated making it fit for purpose. The first event saw the Hither Green Hall Organisation showing three classic British films – Easter Parade, Life of Brian and Hot Fuzz. Local community groups will make full use of the space in the coming months.

Church Halls aren’t particularly interesting. They’re not especially sexy to write about, even less so to read about.

Yet they’re vitally important. And when you see people using a church hall – even sat in silence watching a film – you’re reminded that there are people in the local area who want to utilise the service.

Most of us might consider that the future is the internet, the same place most of our relationships will be conducted.

But the sight of people occupying a newly renovated church hall not to mention those in a nearby kitchen putting the effort in to cater for those people with some handbaked food is enough to underline how important good old community is and should remain.

Further information regarding St Swithun’s Hall can be obtained by emailing bookings @ or by telephoning 0208 852 5088.

The Hither Green Hall Organisation campaigns to establish an arts organisation in Hither Green in the former Art Deco cinema on Hither Gree Road. It’s organiser Max Calo makes a pretty impressive pizza. Mind you, you’d expect that. He’s Italian.

  1. Heck – am also quite hungry. And how did he manage to keep cooking AND answering questions? What a super guy – and how marvellous that he’s moved to do something for his community when so few people aren’t.

  2. cyberguycalif permalink

    It’s nice when someone or a group try to bring people together as a community or even just some local neighborhood event. As someone who has helped in the past with neighborhood street fairs, I can tell you it is not easy or fun for those that plan and work to make the event happen. That man and those working with him deserve pats on the back and a lot of ‘jolly goods’ for all they are doing.

  3. Max permalink

    Ah! Just seen it. I can’t find the right word to say what I want to say but thanks, it was great to see you there and happy you share my point about Church Halls, not sexy but hey that’s all we have around here we better make the best use of it.

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