Lewisham Mayor Damian Egan, Blondel Cluff of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Jim Ripley, Chief Executive of Phoenix Community Housing

The Fellowship and Star officially reopens

Updated: 8 July 2019 at 10:03am

A vast and historic Bellingham pub has been officially reopened by the Mayor of Lewisham Damian Egan following Phoenix's £4million Lottery-funded restoration project. 

The Fellowship and Star, run by the Electric Star Group, features a pub, cinema, cafe, events space, as well as acting as the home of education charity Lewisham Music. 

The official launch on Friday 5 July saw the unveiling of a new community tapestry for Bellingham, musical performances and speeches reflecting on the importance of the Fellowship to the area since it became the first ever pub built on a London housing estate in the 1920s. 

Phoenix Community Housing was successful with a £4million bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2014. At that time only a small part of the original bar was still open to the public, with the rest of the building in a state of substantial disrepair.

With a vision of returning it as a cultural hub to put Bellingham on the map, we bought the building from Lewisham Council and began years of hard work and investment.

As well as the restoration of the pub, we developed a number of arts projects with the community. This is a snapshot of what happened next:

Stitches in Time

  • 170 primary school children took part in embroidery workshops
  • 11 people joined textile workshops in The Green Man
  • 25 older people helped create art pieces

Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre (GLYPT) – Jam Tomorrow

  • 233 children from Elfrida, Launcelot and Athelney schools took part in lantern-making.
  • 364 people enjoyed a performance of the play
  • 36 performers (aged 12-78) were cast
  • 6 actors in GLYPT’s paid Progression Programme took part

The Working Party - Echoes

  • 150 people volunteered to write, research and make the short film
  • 30 primary school children were accredited with Discover Arts awards
  • Nearly 100 oral history recordings were taken on the Fellowship and Bellingham

A big thank you to all our partners for helping bring the Fellowship back to life: the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Ash Contracting, the Electric Star Group and everyone else involved.

We hope you enjoy a building built for all.