Methodists. A ‘common good’ between the Spanish quarters and via Toledo

Intestazione dell'atto di demolizione della chiesa metodista wesleyana di Napoli - Sant'Anna di Palazzo, nell'area dove oggi sorge la struttura di vico Tiratoio, già area mercatale, in via di riqualificazione

Rome (NEV), January 27, 2019 – The demolition project of the Wesleyan Church of Sant’Anna di Palazzo in Naples is dated 10 February 1970. Today in that place there is the neo-rationalist structure designed by the architect Salvatore Bisogni, initially intended for a local market.
Much has been done and undone since that day and, with the year 2019, a new beginning for this area on the edge of the Spanish quarters, but also a few steps from the central Via Toledo, seems possible. Since last January 7th – together with institutional representatives –  Dorothea Müller (pastor of the Methodist Church in Naples, the community that formerly met in the demolished church) and Alessandra Trotta, a Methodist deacon and a delegate of the Methodist Churches’ Work Organization in Italy ( OPCEMI), are participating in the first concrete initiatives for the redevelopment of the structure of Vico Tiratoio.
“We entered after the abusive occupants had freed the building and we collaborated in the cleaning and sanitation of the area – explained Alessandra Trotta -. In the 70’s the Methodist Church decided to transfer to the Municipality the ground where the temple stood and demolished because it was unsafe. The intent was to support a strong project of institutional presence in a territory subjected to another kind of “control”, creating a market area and a building for social services. The agreement with the Municipality provided that some of the premises of the new structure were exchanged with  OPCEMI, which intended to allocate them to aggregative, educational and supportive activities in continuity with what had already been set up previously by the local church”.
Several times over the years, the lack of continuity of presence has led to degradation, improper use and vandalism: “Many attempts have been made, but a shared project was needed. Today there is the novelty of a concrete act, because the market destination has been changed in favour of that of “common good”. The Town Council, and in particular the Heritage Department, led by Alessandra Clemente, expressed a favourable opinion for a re-launching  involving the district, the associations of the territory and the university”, continued Trotta.
In the meantime, a project has been elaborated for the redevelopment of the spaces owned by OPCEMI. “The places can be protected when filled with beautiful and useful things” – concluded the deacon.

“We would like the building to become again an agora, ‘na chjàzza’ (a square, in Neapolitan dialect) for all the inhabitants of the Spanish quarters, where everyone, young and elderly people, individuals and associations, natives and foreigners can meet; a centre for meetings,  debates, culture and music, parties and free time, a breeding ground for ideas, solidarity and ecumenical / interreligious spirituality, mutual aid and ‘organized aid'”, can be read in the project presented to the Municipality. Among the proposed hypotheses that of a Community Centre; a health district in collaboration with the Bethany Evangelical Foundation (which runs the Evangelical Bethany Hospital in Ponticelli) and youth animation activities.