The story of St Mary Magdalene is part of the history of church planting in London. In the summer of 1814 the Bishop of London opened St Mary Magdalene on Holloway Road near Highbury Corner; the new church was planted from St Mary Islington, less than a mile to the south on Upper Street, as a 'Chapel of Ease'. In 1894 St Mary Magdalene became a parish church in its own right. A commitment to the local community and to education characterised the parish from the start.
Members were added throughout the last century from amalgamations involving neighbouring parishes St James, St David and St Clement.
In 1992 St Mary Magdalene planted a group of its own into St David’s Church Hall (see below).
In 2006 a group of about 20 led by Paul Zaphiriou were invited by the Bishop of Stepney to come to St Mary Magdalene and to St David from St George Holborn, a Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) church plant. This established a flourishing relationship with HTB and the HTB-Network churches of which we are a member.
2013 was a new landmark for the parish as St David reopened in November that year and, united, the entire Parish launched the vision of Hope Church Islington.
The story of St David is all about death and resurrection. Built in 1869 (the same year that Sainsbury’s opened its first store and the year of the first international cycle race!) it was almost destroyed by an accidental fire in 1933 but was rebuilt again through the efforts of local people. It survived the war unscathed but numbers declined and it was closed in 1984.
In 1992 the people of St Mary Magdalene planted a small congregation into the old St David’s Church Hall. As numbers grew, more space was needed and the vision emerged to reclaim the original church building for worship again. Jonathan Rust led the team that made that happen with a £4 million programme to completely open up and refurbish the entire building. St David re-opened in November 2013, thereby becoming part of the Hope Church Islington vision.