Christchurch_Spitalfields_medium2 (All photos courtesy of The Spitalfields Church Trust)

On November 6th The Spitalfields Church Trust will hosting a sponsored sleepover in the newly refurbished crypt.
The event is a celebration of the Trust’s 50 year run, which began on November 6th 1965, when the Rector opened the doors of the crypt to homeless alcoholics, and was one of the first locations in the country to do so.

Relaxing in the Crypt, the sitting area-p19vaqpho5a7h1jdio1d1mfc132b-0

‘Tales From The Crypt’ will be unlike any sleepover you’ve ever been to. The floor of the room is cold and uncomfortable, the vaulted roof archaic and resonant, but it will be an experience like no other. The Trust has invited local historians and former residents of the crypt to take part in a night of storytelling and experience sharing. Speakers include screenwriter, author and creator of the East End Back Passages walks, alongside journalist Johann Hari and Stefan Dickers, archives manager at the Bishopsgate Institute. Dinner and breakfast will be provided, as well as an appearance from a royal guest!

A general view of the Crypt-p19vaq1fao1fa9175p8cgfbc1td3-0

Whilst the night will make for an educational voyage through the memories of those that sought shelter in the subterranean chambers of Nicholas Hawksmoor’s easterly edifice, the event is at heart a fundraiser. Sleepers are encouraged to raise £300 from family and friends, with all proceeds going towards SCT’s continuing work with those suffering from addiction, helping them to get back into work or training.

If you would like the chance to take part in the event you can sign up here, but you’d better act fast because places are limited to only 50 for this once in a blue moon experience.

The passageway-p19vav4k8gmj913v0aova771i8u-0

SCT-Crypt bedroom 2-p19varq6ui1q3j1acv1oli12ck1kvl

The dinning room-p19vasi5m5per19jh1j8012hn1r3l-0

Relaxing in the Crypt, the snooker table-p19vat7m53p8a1b6175qorjdah-0

SCT-7-p19vau5qen1b1v1cmm1ke5cep1unj-0

Also keep an eye out for Normal, a magazine run by Choices, a Shoreditch-based group of people all in recovery from drink and drug addictions, and one of SCT’s projects. Speaking about the forthcoming publication, editor, Nigel, said:

“With this magazine we want to entertain and inform people about addiction through stories that you won’t hear in the news. Many people assume that substance dependency is just a failing but it isn’t. We want to demystify addiction as it really can happen to anyone. Lose a job, lose a partner and bang, it could be you. Some of us have made big steps in getting off drink and drugs right here in the heart of Shoreditch. If it does happen to you, Normal will tell you what it’s like, where you can go and what is possible.”

Normal will be appearing in stockists towards the end of September, and will also be available from SCT’s Shoreditch social enterprises, the Paper & Cup cafe and Restoration Station.