Prince Andrew visited Edmonton Green yesterday to officially open a community centre and a primary school.
The Duke of York officially opened the Hanlon Community Centre and St Matthew’s CE Primary School, which have been built in St John’s Church in Dyson Road.
The conversion is the first part of the £1.3billion Meridian Water eco-friendly development delivered by Enfield Council.
The Prince said: “There is a great community feel to what I have experienced this afternoon and I am thrilled to be able to come and learn more about it.
“This will be able to solve a huge range of issues. Young people have got to be given enabling activities and sometimes these can’t be in a school environment, but can be done in a club environment.
“I have learnt a huge amount about real London so thank you for this opportunity.”
St John’s Church was closed in 2000 due to structural problems and a falling numbers of parishioners. The converted church reopened in Janurary with a one-classroom primary school and a community centre complete with gym equipment.
Prince Andrew spoke to pupils in and St Matthew’s CE Primary School who had made Union Jack flags to greet the special guest.
Reception teacher Alison Reick said the 23 school pupils were extremely excited to meet Prince Andrew as they had been learning about the Royal family during the Jubilee celebrations last month.
Meridian Water, which is a major regeneration between the waterways and parklands of Lee Valley, aims to create up to 5,000 homes and bring 3,000 jobs to Enfield by attracting new
Enfield council leader, Councillor Doug Taylor, said: “They have done a wonderful job on the church in this particular area and it is good to give opportunities to young people.”
Father Nigel Asbridge, the Priest Missioner at St John’s said: “We will remember this for a long time.
“Meridian Water offers this downtrodden community a chance of the jobs, new homes, schools, bus and train routes, and the access to shops and services that we so badly need.”