Holy Trinity Church is a community focused church in Hull and we are more than just a parish church. For starters we are England’s largest parish church. As a civic church we fulfill many of the same functions as a cathedral. In the past we have been the meeting place of Hull’s corporation, the repository of an important library and above all, the place where people met, traded and worshiped.
Today we still play an active role in the community and collaborate with a wide range of community groups, organisations and charities to engage with local people. This year we have worked with CAMRA to host their annual Real Ale and Cider Festival which attracted 4,000 people. Hull Bid and the Freedom Festival used the church as venue, both hosting their headline acts at Holy Trinity. Important services for the city are held at Holy Trinity, such as the Remembrance Day service, the Battle of Britain Memorial service, a regimental carol service, a Seafarer’s service, the High Sheriff's Inauguration service, and the University Founders Day service.
The Church and Community Fund Index of Multiple Deprivation Parish List rates Holy Trinity as the 20th most deprived of 12,707 ranked parishes.
In September 2014, journalist Charlie English, writing in The Guardian described Hull thus: “Hull’s double blow [the loss of both docking and trawler fishing jobs] began a long decline that left it by some measures the poorest city in Britain, ranking near the bottom of every indicator of UK socio-economic wealth. When I ask Naomi Clayton of the Centre for Cities where Hull fits in the national picture, she produces a set of damning statistics. It is bottom of the 2009 economic prosperity index and built environment index. It has the lowest rate of employment and the highest proportion of people claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance (6.9% to a UK average of 3.0%). It is Britain’s poorest city in terms of weekly wage. It has a major skills shortage, low rates of business start-up, a high crime rate and the lowest percentage of residents with NVQ4 qualifications or above. Its housing stock is dirt-cheap: in July the average Hull property sold for £69,000, compared with £188,000 in nearby York. Perhaps because of its isolation, Hull has had little sympathy.”
According to the 2010 Indices of Multiple Deprivation:
• Hull is the 15th most deprived of the 326 English boroughs.
• Hull has the 22nd lowest Income Domain figure of the 326 boroughs.
• Hull has the 35th lowest Employment Domain figure of the 326 boroughs.
• Hull has the 2nd lowest ranking of the 326 boroughs for Education and Employment.
• Hull has the 16th worst ranking of the 326 for crime.
• Hull has the 32nd worst ranking of the 326 for Living Environment.
Now, the time is right for change. With City of Culture planned for 2017, Hull is feeling upbeat, and is undoubtedly on the rise. Hull’s Old Town is of historic interest, and is potentially an outstanding tourist destination. The success of ventures such as Hull’s Freedom Festival, and the flowering of artistic ventures in the old Fruit Market, indicate a city with a strong cultural vein, that seeks expression; a place to be seen and heard.
We see Holy Trinity as a cultural hub, a leading tourist destination, and a signpost to other visitor destinations. A reordered Holy Trinity will be a medium sized, stunning music venue, such as does not currently exist in Hull, a performance venue, with space for exhibitions and the arts, a banqueting venue, and the go-to place at the heart of Hull.
The local economy will be boosted, both directly, by jobs created, and indirectly, by the increased visitor numbers drawn to the Old Town and city centre.
Holy Trinity Church will become a focal point for arts and culture in the city. At present Hull has no medium-sized, high quality concert venue. This project will provide one.
Our aim is that every primary school child in Hull will come to Holy Trinity at least once to investigate Hull’s heritage. Through the wide range of activities and events we plan, and through our café, a wide range of people who would not otherwise be drawn to Holy Trinity will come here.
We generally find that if we can just get people through the door, they are amazed by what they find, and intrigued by the local heritage encapsulated in the church. This will include local people, and tourists drawn to the visitor attraction that we will create.
Environmental impacts will be reduced, for example by the employment of more effective and energy efficient heating and lighting.