St. Bartholomew the Less church has been the hospital parish church of St. Bartholomew´s Hospital in West-Smithfield since 1547. St. Bartholomew´s Hospital is the only hospital in England with its own parish. The church is open to visitors and patients of the hospital. It is located just inside the walls to the hospital and the entrance is through Henry VIII gate.
St. Bartholomew the Less is a small, lovely bright church with a beautiful star-shaped 18th century ceiling, and beautiful stained glass windows. One of which is dedicated to the surgeons and physicians from St. Bartholomew´s Hospital, who gave their lives in the line of duty during WWII.
The oldest part of the church, the west wall and the mediaeval tower, date back to the 15th century. The oldest chapel on this site, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, dated back to 1123 and was moved to here in 1184.
St. Bartholomew the Less had a narrow escape from the Great Fire of London in 1666 as did St. Bartholomew the Great. The fire stopped just down the street by the Golden Boy on Pye Corner so one can see how close both churches were to burn down. But then came the Blitz and its bombs in WWII which damaged the church, but it was opened again in 1951.
Fondest memory: First time I visited the church was closed, so I thought it was not open to the public. Then I noticed that Roman Catholic services were being advertised in the church, even though the church is Anglican, so I planned on going to a service so I could have a look inside. The FCC (Friends of the City Churches) put me right and told me that it was usually open to visitors, so I popped into the church every time I visited the West-Smithfield area. The church gives one more of a feeling of being inside a chapel than being inside a church, maybe because if its shape.
What I found lovely is that by the entrance to the church is a poster with 9 religious signs and the question: "Would you like to speak to a chaplain?" so they serve not only to Christians.
Opening hours: Sundays-Thursdays from 10:00-15:00.
Address: West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE
Just opposite St. Bartholomew the Less is the old church St. Bartholomew the Great with the street Little Britain in between them.
I was a member of the affiliated organisation in Australia so when I came here I was able to use my membership to visit excellent places/buildings/treasures found in locations all over the UK maintained by this wonderful organisation.
Many wonderful stately homes, historic homes and sites have been bequeathed by people or families to ensure better care or just to stay in a national organisation that will use the property for the general public to enjoy. Membership costs about £43 a year which covers entrance fees to all places and free car parking and goes towards the funds needed to keep this organisation and also acquire properties if an opportunity comes onto the market. This fee is well worthwhile for such an excellent organisation that has such a vast array of properites in its holding and such a range of historic and special places to visit.
An excellent guidebook of all its properties, many shown in colour photographs, is published and mailed out each year with all the information you will need - opening times, special exhibitions or garden seasons, transportation and access.
Ive visited excellent places around the London area - Winston Churchill's home at Chartwell, Scotney Castle, Igtham Mote, Sheffield Park Gardens, Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens, Mottinsfont Abbey - with the most beautiful rose garden Ive ever seen!, and the list goes on.
Fondest memory: https://join.nationaltrust.org.uk/join/start?campid=PPC_Membership_Google_Membership
British Museum and Le Louvre are for me the best European museums of Antiquities.
My preferred museums of Antiquities in Europe are the following:
Under Antiquities I mean here Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Near Eastern artefacts.
Le Louvre, Paris.
British Museum, London.
Museumsinsel Berlin (Museum Island) with various museums like the Altes Museum, the Pergamon Museum and the Egyptian Museum
Greek and Roman antiquities:
Capitoline Museum and the two Museo Nazionale Romano (Palazzo Altemps and Palazzo Massimo), Rome.
National Archaeological Museum and Acropolis Museum, Athens.
Vatican Museum, Rome.
Museo Egizio (Egyptian museum), Turin.
And Egyptian departments of Le Louvre, British Museum and Berlin Island museum (one of the best in Europe).
Of course there are others like Vienna's KHM, Olympia, Leiden, Brussels, etc., etc. but if you have time to visit my favoured ones you will already feel a happy cultured traveller.
St. Bartholomew the Great is London´s oldest surviving parish church. I don´t like paying for visiting churches, but since I was visiting all the City churches I paid the small fee of GBP 4 to visit St. Bartholomew the Great. It was so worth it, it is a beautiful church with a long history.
St. Bartholomew the Great or the Priory Church was established in 1123 by Prior Rahere as an Augustinian priory. He was the founder of the Priory and the St. Bartholomew Hospital, opposite the street from the church. His tomb is by the High altar of the church with an effigy dressed as an Augustinian canon. Prior Rahere was also a courtier to King Henry I. St. Bartholomew the Great is known for its curative powers - dating back to when Prior Rahere went on a pilgrimage to Rome and caught a fever. He made a vow that he would build a hospital for the poor if he got better. He recovered and on his way back St. Bartholomew (one of the apostles) appeared to him with a message that he should build a church on this exact spot. People visit the church to get healed and on St. Bartholomew day - the 24th of August - sick people flock to the church.
In 1539 under the law of Henry VIII the church was dissolved and half of it was demolished.
St. Bartholomew the Great escaped, as it were, the Great Fire of London in 1666 and both WW1 and WW2 - amazing really as so many of the City churches got hit hard by the Fire and the World Wars.
The known William Hogarth was baptised in the church in 1697 in one of two pre-Reformation fonts, which still exist, dating back to 1405.
There are several tombs and memorials in the church, the tomb of Sir Walter and Lady Mary Mildmay, the monument of Percival and Agnes Smallpace, the monument to John and Margaret Whiting and the monument to Sir Robert Chamberlayne dating back to 1615.
The woodwork in the west side of the church is so beautiful - above it is the organ. In front is the the Great Lectern, which is made out of ancient timber from the old Lady Chapel.
Fondest memory: There is a chapel in the church called the Lady Chapel, dedicated to Mary. It has an interesting history as for centuries it was used for other purposes than a chapel - from 1539-1880 it was used as a house - a printery in which Benjamin Franklin worked - and finally as a lace factory. From 1896 it has been used exclusively as a chapel. There is a lovely painting of Madonna and Child from 1998 in the chapel. I just couldn´t tear myself away from it :)
St. Bartholomew the Great has been a film location for various popular films, such as Four Weddings and a Funeral (the 4th wedding was filmed here), Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare in Love, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Amazing Grace, The Other Boleyn Girl, Jude, Elizabeth: The Golden Age - and The End of Affair.
St. Bartholomew the Great is located in West-Smithfield in the City of London next to the St. Bartholomew Hospital and St. Bartholomew the Less church. Opposite the street is Smithfields Meat Market. If you look up the street "Little Britain" then it is next to the church. It is kind of hidden away, as the entrance to the church was changed and it looks like a fairytale house, or something out of a Dicken´s tale. This house is what attracted me to have a further look - I had no idea that there was such a remarkable church here.
A highly recommended visit.
In 1210 a nunnery was built beside the priory church of St. Helen of the Benedictine Order. A new church was built for the nuns next to St. Helen´s church. The two churches have been linked together since 1543 making up what today is St. Helen´s Bishopsgate in the City of London. Due to its rich history this church has been called the Westminster Abbey of the City.
There is nothing left of the convent though since 1799. In 1538 the nunnery was given to Sir Thomas Wyllyams (Cromwell) and the nuns were given money to leave. 5 years later the nunnery became the property of the Leathersellers´ Company.
There is a big window in the Nuns´ Qiure, which was completely destroyed by the IRA bomb in 1992. A new window was given to the church in 1996.
There are many tombs and monuments in this part of the church. One of them is the Tomb of Sir William Pickering 1574, who was the ambassador of Spain when Elizabeth I was queen. It came as a surprise to me how many effigies there are in the church.
In the Nuns´ Quire is also the Tomb of Sir Thomas Gresham 1579, the founder of the Royal Exchange and the Gresham Institution - it is without an effigy.
Fondest memory: There is a beautiful wooden oak chancel screen which seperates the South Transept from the body of the church. It adds so much character to the church - it is so ornate.
Other tombs here are the Tomb of Sir John and Lady Crosby. John Crosby built Crosby Place and donated money to the church and it is thought that the 4 big arches in the church were paid for out of his donation. And the tomb of John de Oteswich and his wife, dating back to the late 14th century, from the St. Martin Outwich church, like so many other monuments in St. Helen´s Bishopsgate.
A highly recommended visit when in the City of London.
St. Helen´s Bishopsgate church in the City of London has been called the Westminster Abbey of the City of London. It is a beautiful church with such rich history. It was one of the last churches I visited in the City as it is kind of difficult to get into it - or so I thought. I had walked past this church for a decade without knowing anything about it. It is located west of the Gherkin, just across the street, and looking at this old church and the very modern Gherkin behind it always make me contemplate on how vast a difference there is in architecture now and way back when the church was built. I could not find out where the entrance was and thought it might be used for offices only and thus closed to the public, but found out that it was open for the City Workers on Sundays and on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a lunch-time service. Then I found out that the church was open to visitors on Mondays-Fridays from 09:30-12:30. The entrance is on the east side of the church and I had to ring a bell to get in. The main entrance to the church is on the west side of the church - dating back to ca 1300. Coming from Iceland, where we don´t have old buildings, it amazes me how old this church is here in the middle of the City.
I got there a little early to check out the church and to my surprise the church got almost filled with people - the workers in the City of London. I must say that this was the "friendliest" church I visited in the City and I did not sit alone there. After the lunch-time talk people had lunch in the church and I got to know some people there. Very lovely and if the opportunity arises I will go there again for a lunch-time talk.
The address of the church is: Great St Helen's, London EC3A 6AT. Tube: Liverpool Street and Bank.
Fondest memory: The priory church of St. Helen of the Benedictine Order was here on this site when in 1210 a nunnery was built beside the church. That church dates back at least to 1140-1160. A new church was built for the nuns next to St. Helen´s church. The two churches have been linked together since 1543 making up what today is St. Helen´s Bishopsgate.
I will add a special tip on the Nuns´ Quire as there are so many interesting monuments there.
St. Helen´s is one of the few churches in the City which survived the Great Fire of London in 1666 and the Bishopsgate Fire only a century later in 1765. Neither did it get damaged in WW1 and WW2. But the IRA bombs in 1992 and 1993 in the City severely damaged St. Helen´s and some other churches in this area, and the church had to be completely restored in 1994-1995 :( The floor was lifted to it´s medieval level, so that under floor heating could be added. One can see the former floor-level by the monument of Sir John Spencer (1609), who was Lord Mayor of London from 1594-1595.
There are big arches in the church, which date back to 1480, which didn´t get destroyed by the bombs.
I am interested in the sword-rests in the City churches and found a rare wooden sword-rest in St. Helen´s Bishopsgate with the date 1665 - the year of the Plague. It was the sword rest of Sir John Lawrence, who was Lord Mayor of the City of London in 1664-1665.
There is also a very beautiful pulpit in the church, it is very decorative, made of wood in ca 1615 - a masterpiece. The noted John Wesley and George Whitefield preached from this pulpit on their visits to the church. I wish I could add more photos here, I just couldn´t stop taking photos in this remarkable church.
There is a lovely garden by St. James´s Piccadilly Church. It is a former graveyard, referred to until 1945 as the "green graveyard", but has not been in use as as a graveyard since 1853.
On a stone by the entrance to the garden is written: "The garden on this bomb damaged site was given by Viscount Southwood to commemorate the courage and fortitude of the people of London in the second World War 1939-1945". During the war there were air-rade shelters in the garden for civilians.
Fondest memory: There are several statues on display (contemporary culture) in the garden and a fountain with such lovely chubby cherubs and angry looking dolphins. The fountain is Grade II listed and is in commemoration of Viscount Southwood, who is mentioned here above. Close by the fountain is another lovely statue called "Peace".
It is lovely sitting here in the garden, I did that often when I was studying here back in 1987. It is so sheltered and peaceful.
My favourite café is by the garden "Café Nero" connected with the church, a lovely café.
St. James´s Church Piccadilly is one of Sir Christopher Wren´s churches, which he built after the Great Fire of London in 1666. It is in a strange place though, as all the other churches built by Wren are in the City of London, this church is the only one outside of the City. Hernry Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans, owned this land, where the church now stands, and chose Wren as an architect for the church. Earl Jermyn, also built St. James´s Square and the streets in that area, which is now the center of London.
True to Wren´s church design it is a beautiful, bright, spacious ornate church, consecrated in 1684. Grinling Gibbons is the master of the woodwork and the beautiful altar in the church. He also made the exquisite marble font with Adam and Eve and the tree of life. The well known poet, William Blake, was baptised in the font.
The church was badly damaged by bombs in the Blitz in 1940. The organ, the Reredos and the Font escaped damage. Restoration was finished in 1954.
Four ministers of St. James´s Church Piccadilly have become Archbishops of Canterbury.
Fondest memory: I visited this church several times, and it was more than often filled with sleeping homeless people. It is a good thing that they can have a shelter in a church, especially during the winter time. It was very cold in the church as well, though. It was difficult taking photos in the church with so many people sleeping there, so I have only a handful of usable photos.
There are free recitals in the church three times a week at lunchtime, on Mondays, Wednesday and Friday.
Outside the church is the well known Piccadilly Market. There is also a graveyard by the church, on which I am going to add another tip.
The address of the church is: 197 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LL and it is located on Piccadilly, the closest tube being Piccadilly Circus.
Friends of the City Churches - FCC is a group of over 100 wonderful people, who keep the old City of London´s 16 "threatened" churces open on certain dates. The FCC proved very helpful and knowledgeable on the City Churches and I am ever so grateful to them for keeping these old churches open to visitors - without them I would not have seen some remarkable churches in the City of London. If I were ever to live in London I would join this group.
On my stay in London in 2012-2013 my goal was to visit all or most of the City churches. But I noticed that many of them were closed. In one church I found a leaflet and discovered that the Friends of the City Churches keep many of them open on a certain date. On that day they put a sign out in front of the church - the Church Watchers are here today - open. I made many trips down to the City to visit the churches. Many of the churches are open to visitors every day, but the FCC keep the following churches open from 11:00-15:00 on these days:
Mondays - St. Martin Ludgate, St. Mary Abchurch.
Tuesdays - St. Dunstan in the West, St. Botolph Aldgate and from 13:45-16:00 St. Botolph Aldersgate. On the 2nd and 4th Tuesday the Dutch Church Austin Friars is open.
Wednesdays - St. Mary Aldermary (it is open every day as there is a café in the church, but I guess the FCC are there on Wednesdays), St. Sepulchre Newgate, St. Stephen Walbrook. From 12:00-16:00 St. Magnus the Martyr.
Thursdays - St. James Garlickhythe, St. Benet Paul´s Wharf (open from late March as it is too cold inside), St. Mary at Hill.
Fridays - All Hallows London Wall (closed until further notice in 2013), St. Ethelburga Centre, St. Andrew by the Wardrobe.
Fondest memory: I also got hold of - in a church - the leaflet "City Events", published by the FCC. In there one can find out all the services held on any certain day in the City Churches - and there are so many services, masses, bible studies, organ recitals, free concerts etc held every day in one or many of the churches. The leaflet - published every month - proved extremely helpful. I attended many of the services and concerts, of which I wouldn´t have known if it weren´t for the leaflet.
Kudos to the Friends of the City Churches - God bless!
St Giles-in-the-Fields is an Anglican church in the West End, right south of Center Point. It is a parish church for St. Giles, Seven Dials, and parts of Fitzrovia and Bloomsbury.
The first place of worship on this site was a chapel from 1101, which was a refuge for the poor, pretty much as I encountered when I visited, like in so many other churches, homeless people were sleeping on the pew. It is lovely that they can get in from the cold and warm up here in a church. It was also a colony for lepers. The church became a parish church in 1547. Church number two was rebuilt in 1630 and the third one - the present church - dates back to 1733.
It is a lovely Palladian style church, built by Hentry Fitcroft. The pulpit was given to the church in 1676 - so the pulpit is older than the church (1733).
There is a wooden model of the church in a glass case.
Fondest memory: There is a white pulpit in the church from West Street Chapel, but John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, and his brother, Charles, preached from that pulpit many times from 1743-1791. I would have loved listening to them.
Well known people baptised in the church are the children of Lord Byron. And the children of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.
The church is open from Monday-Friday from 08:15-16:00 and again for Evening Prayer at 17:30.
St. Botolph without Bishopsgate is one of the churches in the City and is situated by Bishopsgate street. When the current church was built the remains of a Saxion church dating back to ca 1212 were found. But it is believed that there has been a church here since Roman times. The current church is the 4th church on this site, dating back to 1729. Each church in the City is unique and St. Botolph without Bishopsgate is unique in that the tower of the church is at the east end.
It is a beautiful church, built in classic style. The name "without Bishopsgate" means that the church stood just outside the old City walls.
This is not one of Sir Christopher Wren´s churches, as it escaped the Great Fire of London in 1666. In WW2 only 1 window got broken, but the church was damaged by an IRA bomb on the 24th of April 1993. The roof opened and all the windows and doors were blown away. The bomb was in a car in front of St. Ethelburga, diagonally opposite the street, which got much more severely damaged.
When I visited there were several homeless people sleeping on the pew, well, if not in a church, then... So I just tiptoed around the church, read up on it and took photos (without flash).
Fondest memory: There is a Book of Remembrance in the church of the London Rifle Brigade.
I also found a memorial to the people who have died of hæmophilia, after having been given contaminated blood, Memorials like this just break one´s heart.
John Keats was baptised in this church in 1759. Also the actor Edward Alleyn in 1566. He was the founder of Dulwich College. The best known parishioner was Sir Paul Pindar, James Is Ambassador to Turkey.
There is a Hall in the gardens of the church, which is rented out for functions and dinners and such. This Hall used to be a Charity School.
The address of the church is St. Botolph without Bishopsgate Church, Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3TL
St. Michael´s Cornhill is one of the City churches, which I have passed on my London trips so many times and admired from afar. The entrance to this particular church is magnificient, so ornate and striking. It is a Sir Christopher Wren church.
St. Michael´s Cornhill stands directly where the Basilica, the old Roman Forum, used to be.
Close to the site of the church was the oldest Christian worship in London, from 179 AD - making these churches remarkable in London´s history. St. Peter Cornhill is the oldest church in the City - established in 179 AD - it is only a couple of meters (as it were) from St. Michael. St. Peter Cornhill is not open to public, only by appointment.
There is a record of St. Michael´s Cornhill from 1055, so it dates back before that time. It has links with the Draper´s Company.
St. Michael´s Cornhill was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 - only the tower remained. It was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren and finished in 1672. Wren started on rebuilding the tower in Gothic style, but Hawkmoor finished it.
Fortunately the church didn´t get damaged by the bombings in WW2, like so many other of the City churches. But there were some restorations in 1960 and again in 1975.
It is such a beautiful church, with a light blue ceiling and Tuscan pillars - with a golden angel above every pillar. Very majestic. And by every pew there is a different coat of arms, I haven´t seen that in other City churches.
The organ, which dates back to 1684, is said to be one of the finest organs in a London church. There are organ recitals in the church on Mondays at 13:00. The organ recitals have been going strong in the church since 1914 and have become a national institution, as it were, under Harold Darke. They were broadcasted live every week for several years on BBC national radio.
Fondest memory: I entered the church and saw that nobody was in there so I started singing to myself, praising God at the altar and taking photos. Only to realize when I was about to leave that there was a man sitting in the far end of the church, kind of hidden in the shadow there. I was mortified, poor guy sitting there in peace and here I come in praising the Lord and feeling all free and singing, hehe. But if not in a church then... I apologized and he told me that he had a very stressful job and that he sometimes came in here to clear his head, as the church was usually empty. A very polite, typical City man. He offered to accompany me to the other Cornhill church, St. Peter´s Cornhill, and then went on his way. Unfortunately that church was used for offices and closed to the public.
The church is in the street called Cornhill, which got its name from the corn-market which was once situated here. The name is old, dates back to the 12th century.
St. Stephen Walbrook church is a City church next to the Mansion house, where the Honourable Lord Mayor of the City of London resides and entertains. It is a smallish looking church, but so beautiful on the inside. There is excavation work opposite the church. where the Temple of Mitrah stands, making it hard to take a good photo from the outside. There is a dome though, with a green roof, which can barely be seen on the photo. In that dome is the most beautiful ceiling, it just took my breath away.
There has been a church on this site since between ca 700-980 AD. It is not certain as there is no mention of when it was built, but given that the Temple of Mitrah stood here, then there must have been a church to counteract it, as it were - seeing that the Temple of Mitrah was heathen from the Roman times. That church became too small for the parish and another one was built in 1428. The older church stood by a river, Walbrook, but many centuries later the environment had changed drastically and the site of the church was 6 meters higher than that of the first church!
The Great Plague of 1665 started in the street east of the church - Bearbidder Lane. And then came the Great Fire of London in 1666 - Poor Londoners living back then :(
St. Stephen Walbrook burnt to ashes in 24 hours. It was then rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren - by order of King Charles II. The rebuilding started in 1672 and it was the only church on which rebuilding was started that year. It wasn´t completely finished until 1717.
Wren made the church perfectly rectangular. There is space in the middle of the church - in which there is now a white, round stone altar - this I have not seen in any other church.
St. Stephen Walbrook is Wren´s church in more than one way - it was his parish church as well, as he lived on Walbrook number 15.
In WW2 the stained glass windows were destroyed., but were restored, and there are talks of adding white windows to make it even brighter.
Fondest memory: St. Stephen Walbrook has by some been listed as one of the 10 most important buildings in England! And it was praised in Italy for its beauty. Sir John Sommerson said that St. Stephen Walbrook was: "The pride of English architecture, and one of the few City churches in which the genius of Wren shines in full splendour". It sure is a diamond in the rough - as on the outside one cannot see the extraordinary beauty of the church. I can only say that it has the "wow" factor.
This is why I recommend that people visit the churches in London, the beauty of some of them is amazing and the history of all of them is unique and such an interesting part of the history of London.
The organ is amazing, so ornate, I add a photo, but it is a little out of focus as I had to zoom in to take it without flash. But it gives the general idea of how ornate and beautiful it is.
Opening hours: Weekdays: 10:00-16:00. I always pop in for a visit when in this area. Just to take in the beauty of this church. St. Stephen Walbrook is a guild church, so there are no services on Sundays. There are organ recitals on Fridays at 12:30. And a service on Thursdays at 12:45.
I have added the website of the church, but take care that there are monks singing when one opens the website, not that I dislike singing, but sometimes I am adding tips in the middle of the night... ;)
St. Mary of the Nativity a.k.a. St. Mary Woolnoth was another one of Sir Christopher Wren´s churches in the City of London. I have been searching for them systematically and am always happy when I come across one of his churches. There are 51 all in all, I wonder if I will be able to find them all...
I have passed by this church so many times, and never thought I could just drop in. When I visited nobody was there so I could get the feel of the church and sit down and pray and read up on the church and take photos.
St. Mary Woolnoth is in the very City center, it is said that it occupies one of the most prominent sites of any of the churches in the City. It is located at the junction of Lombard Street and King William Street.
The site of the church has been used for worship for 2.000 years, as there was a Roman temple here once on the site of the church. The first mention of a Christian church here was in 1191, then it was called Wilnotmaricherche, thus the name today Woolnoth. The church was referred to as St. Mary Woolnoth of the Nativity, thus the two names "St. Mary of the Nativity a.k.a. St. Mary Woolnoth".
That church was replaced in 1438, but that church was damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and restored by Sir Christopher Wren in 1674. That church had to be replaced as it turned out to be unsafe and was demolished in 1716. The new church was consecrated in 1727. Nicholas Hawksmoor was the architect and he built it in English baroque style. This church is considered to be Hawksmoor´s masterpiece, the interior looks a bit like an Egyptian Hall. It was one of Queen Anne´s 50 new churches. I wonder if anything is left in the church of Wren´s design? The church was again altered in 1876. And again it was partially restored in 1990s. So I guess not much is left of Wren´s design, probably nothing.
Associated with the church was John Newton (1779-1807). He was against slave trade and preached against it. Thus inspiring William Wilberforce, who by his efforts won the battle for the abolition of slavery. There is a memorial tablet in the church dedicated to John Newton and his fight against slavery. John Newton was the co-author of Amazing grace together with the poet Cowper.
Fondest memory: There is a Lady Chapel in the north side of the church, where one can write down prayer requests and light a candle.
St. Mary Woolnoth belongs to the Church of England. It became a guild church in 1952, meaning that is has no service on Sundays, but has service in the middle of the week.
I found a sentence in their leaflet so heartwarming: "Before you leave, please stop and pray that God will bless our continuing work of making Jesus Christ known and loved". These City churches looked so cold to me, as it were, before I started visiting them, I have totally changed my mind about them.
St. Mary Woolnoth´s address is: King William Street, London EC3V 9AN.
Tube: Bank. Interestingly enough the Bank tube station was built directly beneath the church in 1897-1900.
St. Vedast-alias-Foster is a Sir Christopher Wren church diagonally behind St. Paul´s Cathedral in the City of London.
I needed to go to church and was looking for one and came across this church behind St. Paul´s Cathedral. As I entered I saw that the minister was preparing the altar and she asked me if I wanted to stay for mass and Holy Communion. I accepted, one cannot say no to a Holy Communion. And I had never been to mass in an Anglican church. The mass started at 12:15 and there were only 4 other people there. We got handed a leaflet with the text, but I couldn´t follow it as it was very fast. So I just watched. And got Holy Communion. It only lasted for about 25 minutes, but I was elated and so happy to have been a part of an Anglican mass, by chance, as it were. Two days later I went again and could follow it better. Then I went again...
There has been a church here since 1107. And the kind of strange name St. Vedast-alias-Foster, comes from St. Vedast being a French saint, the Latin name being Vedast and Foster is the English name for him. Kind of difficult to say, I refer to it as St. Vedast only. It got partly destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and was reconstructed by Sir Christopher Wren. The spire is in baroque style and was added in 1712. It got badly damaged in the Blitz in 1940 in WW2 and had to be reconstructed once more.
The church is so beautiful, there are seats by each side of the church, not facing the altar. Not many people can fit in the church, but I love this arrangement - and there are lamps by each seat, with red shades. I have only seen this in one other church in London, but I have yet to visit many other churches. Having a wedding in this church must be ever so lovely. It is so welcoming and beautiful. And the ceiling is so decorative, I couldn´t resist taking a photo of it.
The livery companies connected to St. Vedast are Goldsmiths, Pewterers, Wax Chandlers and Saddlers.
Fondest memory: St. Vedast´s Day is on February 6th.
From Monday-Friday there is a Weekday Mass and Holy Communion at 12:15 in the church. It lasts for about 25 minutes.
St. Vedast-alias-Foster belongs to The Church of England. They say on their website that they are an Anglican church in the Catholic tradition.
St. Vedast-alias-Foster is in Foster Lane, London EC2V 6HH