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Hackney Modernist church wins listing

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A distinctive post-war church by NF Cachemaille-Day has been listed as part of a government drive to protect the UK's ecclesiastical architecture.

The Church of Saint Michael and All Angels in London Fields, Hackney, has been awarded Grade-II listing by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Built between 1959 and 1961, the building is distinguished by its square plan and shallow central dome. It replaced the original 18th-century church, which was destroyed by enemy bombing during World War II.

The building is of special architectural and historical interest because it is a prime example of Cachemaille-Day's style. The architect designed many of Britain's contemporary churches, and is considered one of the most influential post-war architects.

Announcing the listing, Hackney Council described the church as 'impressive mostly for its interior, but with external interest as well, namely the striking sculpture of St Michael slaying the dragon over the entrance porch, as well as clear massing'.

Nearly 150 churches and cathedrals around the country are to be listed by DCMS, making it easier to apply for restoration grants.

The move follows pressure from English Heritage, the government's statutory advisor on historic buildings, to list the churches, giving them protection from development or unsuitable alteration.

by Clive Walker

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