Trusty guide to London’s Christopher Wren churches
Celebrities have picked their favourite Christopher Wren churches ready for English Tourism Week, which begins on Monday.
Author Bill Bryson chose St Michael’s Cornhill, and actress Joanna Lumley St Bride’s Fleet Street as their Wren favourites.
“The tiny graceful spire,” said Mrs Lumley, “rises among the clustering modern and Victorian buildings like a dream vision.”
She added that St Bride’s spire inspired the classic tiered wedding cake favoured by Westerners.
Native Londoners and tourists will value National Church’s Trust’s list of Wren churches to visit, complete with opening hours, locations and guides of what to look out for inside.
The Trust’s CEO, Claire Walker, said:
“Churches are a vital part of London’s story. Each is an oasis in the heart of the busy city. Why not get out and discover somewhere special?”
Christopher Wren was a true polymath: anatomist, astronomer, mathematician, physicist and one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.
He redesigned a whopping 52 churches in the City of London after they were destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666.
Wren’s churches are beautiful, artistic and historical landmarks in their own right.
But they also remain home to thriving gospel communities in the Diocese of London.
St Nicholas Cole Abbey, for instance, holds midweek talks for city workers, at which the bible is read and the gospel preached and faithfully expounded.
St Mary’s Aldermary hosts a café and the Moot new monastic community, which offers an oasis of calm, contemplation and liturgy in a busy part of London.
And of course, St Mary le Bow recently hosted the confirmation of confirmation of Sarah Mullally’s election as Bishop of our Diocese, with St Andrew’s Holborn home to Bishop Jonathan, who looks after our traditionalist parishes.
English Tourism Week runs from 17 to 25 March, and with resources like those from National Churches Trust, is a great opportunity for Brits and international visitors to take advantage of our Diocese’s rich cultural heritage, and present day confidence, compassion and creativity.