The Church is a great place for a few drinks, a laugh, a dance, and the chance to sing your heart out.
The idea for “CHURCH” was conceived in a public house back in October 1979. Known as “The Golden Lion” in Fulham Broadway, the likes of a fresh-faced Elvis Costello, Paul Young, and Annie Lennox could often be seen performing here. Initially, only a few Aussies and Kiwis would gather at these Sunday sessions where a stripper provided the only entertainment. As time went on, word spread among Aussie and Kiwi travellers, and the number of people dedicated to this Sunday drinking session grew. “THE CHURCH” had been born. Pub manager – High Priest Sean Sullivan – introduced a comedian to guide his faithful flock.
With its ensuing mix of wit and whimsy, “THE CHURCH” became an institution among fun-loving antipodeans, providing a haven for its disciples who were wanting to have fun and get pissed in a country far removed from the sun-drenched shores of home. “THE CHURCH” thrived for five years at the “The Golden Lion” until refurbishment of the establishment meant “THE CHURCH” had to relocate.
A new venue was needed. “The Greyhound Pub” in Fulham Road was found to accommodate the faithful; those dedicated to a party. The number of faithful continued to grow; not through advertising, but simply by word of mouth. The word had gone out: “THE CHURCH” was THE place to go to for antipodean revelers to cleanse themselves of their sins with gallons of beer, heaps of fun, and an abundance of loud music. The news became widespread. Travellers out for a party and a good time came as far as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
For a while, High Priest Sean Sullivan was happy, for his people were happy; the Demon of real life in London was being flushed religiously from their bodies every Sunday, but again, events decreed that this religion was to be practised elsewhere. But the religion did not die. Initially, “THE CHURCH” and its followers moved to “The Fox” in West Kensington, but shortly afterwards it was resurrected again at “The White Hart” in Willesden. Many acts, feeling unappreciated elsewhere, found they were welcome at “THE CHURCH”. Some of these included…
Stevie Starr: Blessed with the ability to swallow goldfish, coins and light bulbs and then regurgitate them in any order requested. Without a doubt one of the chosen ones.
Ratman & Robin: A former rat catcher from Liverpool who would place his head inside a small cage and allow 12 rats to run around his face – similar to dealing with the home office.
Sinba: A woman who would smash beer glasses with her bare feet and then dance on the broken glass. When the glass was broken into smaller pieces, she would wash her face in the crushed debris. Truly a harsh way of getting faceless.
However, in July 1990, the High Priest sought sanctuary again. “Bubsy’s” in Tottenham Court Road (famous for its heavy rock, punk and reggae) was chosen as the new resting place for “THE CHURCH”. For a year, Aussies, Kiwis, South Africans, and Zims would congregate here every Sunday. They came here to have fun without the need for drugs and violence. Nevertheless, “THE CHURCH” needed to move again.
“The Dome” in Tufnell Park was chosen as the new hallowed ground in 1991. Covering an area the size of a concert hall, but its religion was not to settle here for long, and within a year “THE CHURCH” was on the move again. After Tufnell Park, The Church move to Kings Cross which was our home ’til 2003 when we moved to The Forum in Kentish Town
Our current resting place is at The Clapham Grand in Clapham Junction. Where our followers have become masses, having grown in both numbers and cultures to include all nations and where revelry and fun are the order of the day and the principle that people cannot be forgiven unless they have sinned is upheld every Sunday.