Church wants to turn Upper Street phone box into ‘inspirational’ miniature library

Phone box on Victoria Embankment. Photograph: Julia Gregory

Iconic phone boxes have been transformed into book swaps, homes for defibrillators and even miniature coffee shops since they have fallen out of use.

Now a Pentecostal church wants to convert a phone box on busy Upper Street into a library “to provide books to be read by the community to help in various areas of their life”.

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God’s help centre has applied to fit shelves in the Grade II-listed telephone kiosk near Amazon Fresh on Upper Street.

The church’s UK headquarters are at the Rainbow Theatre on Seven Sisters Road, and it hopes to adopt the kiosk designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

Founded in Brazil in 1977, the church first came to the UK in 1985.

The phone box was designed in 1935 to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V and was known as the “Jubilee” kiosk. More than 60,000 were made before the design changed in 1968.

They have fallen out of use as mobile phones have become widespread.

A nearby phone box on Upper Street is used as an art installation.

The plans are part of the ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme, with an application stating the phone box would be “used to display and make inspirational books available to the community”.

The church wants to provide “guidance” with information to help people with “their mental health, financial breakthrough, family and other areas. Some of the books will be related to overcoming depression and forgiveness.”