Based in the beautiful city of Bath, Fairfield House was gifted to the people of Bath by HIM Haile Selssie I, who lived here as a war refugee 1936-1941. Fairfield House Bath CIC serves the African diaspora, devout followers of HIM (Rastafari etc) and the people of Bath. Consistent with the terms of HIM's gift we place Elders at the heart of what we do.
Fairfield House was recently described as a "diversity portal" for Bath. On a recent visit the UNESCO deputy director wanted to visit Fairfield above the Roman and Georgian remains for which Bath is known and has World Heritage status. But the internationally important heritage of Fairfield House is neglected and at risk.
The aim of Fairfield House Bath CIC is to protect and develop the legacy to our community of HIM. This African Emperor was a devout Orthodox Christian, a war leader, reformer, statesman, a source of myth celebrated in reggae culture and for his millions of followers the acclaimed Messiah. He lived in our city for six years. This history is not well known, and we need to protect the house and the wider legacy it represents.
Fairfield House Bath is a thriving cultural, faith and activities centre. The building houses the Bath Ethnic Minorities Senior Citizens Association BEMSCA, a 25 year established charity which provides warm and compassionate day care. It houses a small museum, gallery and library/resource centre with objects and books about Ethiopia, HIM and Rastafari. It attracts Ethiopian Orthodox, Rastafari and Bath cultural and heritage celebrations and events.
The core initial tasks of the newly established CIC is
- to secure control of the building in a partnership with Bath & North East Somerset council. Fairfield House is a grade II listed nine bedroom Victorial Italianate villa. The curtilege includes a 1970s bugalow in the grounds
- put it on a financially sustainable footing and
- restore the fabric with the help of substantial grants.
We have a strong and diverse core team and clear vision. We need to build it out with the specific skills necesary for negotiating a property transaction and putting a not for profit on a sound long term footing.