Anyone who's stood at Oxford Circus wondering which way to turn or trying to meet somebody outside Topshop cannot have failed to notice this striking in-the-round church standing at the northern end of Regent Street. All Souls is the last surviving church built by 19th century architect John Nash and received some pretty harsh criticism when it opened in 1824. Today, the church fills to the rafters for Sunday services as people escape the hustle and bustle of the West End and come into this place of worship. It also has an active outward focus, ministering to workers, students and young people through a variety of groups and events. Services are a rich mix of praise, music (All Souls' famous orchestra accompanies the congregation about once a month) and biblical teaching. Rector Hugh Palmer, a Chaplain to the Queen, Elizabeth II, since July 2012, and Rico Tice, All Souls' resident evangelist, talk about hope in the Christian faith. Services are on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, when the evening service begins at 6.30pm.
2 All Souls Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1B 3DA
Tube: Oxford Circus Station
Bridge, Bankside, London, SE1 9DA
Tube: London Bridge Station
While you might be hard pressed to get into the Easter Sunday services at the oldest Gothic building in London, Southwark Cathedral is running many additional services over the Easter period. A hidden gem of a cathedral on the south bank of the Thames by London Bridge, its position just across the river from the city means its mission is to the thriving business community outside its walls but at this time of year worshippers come from all corners to engage with Jesus' death and resurrection. Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday and on Good Friday there's the Walk of Witness which begins at the cathedral at 10am and stops at a number of places along the way for readings.
St Paul's Churchyard, City, London, EC4M 8AD
The great dome of St Paul's is one of the most striking features of the City's skyline, standing proud as a beacon of our Christian heritage. Walk over the Millennium Bridge on Easter Sunday with the majestic cathedral fašade before you and you'll be in for something of a spiritual experience before you even step inside. The building is a wonderfully historic site. Built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed Old St Paul's, the new cathedral miraculously went on to escape major damage during the Blitz in World War Two. Images of the famous dome framed by smoke became a powerful symbol of hope in a dark time. This poignant story of survival and a lesson in leaving the past behind while looking to new life is what Jesus' resurrection at Easter is all about. The Holy Week services at St Paul's provide a traditional and thoughtful way to meditate on these significant themes. The Good Friday Choral Mattins and Litany in Procession begins at 10.15am while in Easter Sunday proceedings commence at 5.45am with the Easter Day Dawn Eucharist.
Strand, Holborn, London, WC2R 1DH
Tube: Temple Station
For a child-friendly atmosphere in the heart of London, head along to St Clement Danes. The classic English nursery rhyme - "'Oranges and lemons', say the bells of St Clement's" - could be said to be based on this church on the Strand and its bells indeed ring out the tune daily at 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 6pm. St Clement Eastcheap also lays claim to being the church featured in the rhyme but don't let a mere technicality get in the way of enjoying the tradition. The rhyme rings out on the church bells, the oldest of which is the Sanctus Bell which was cast in 1588 by Robert Mot, founder of the Whitechapel Foundry. A church has stood on this prominent spot beside the Royal Courts of Justice, on an island in the middle of the Strand, for over 1,000 years. The 'Danes' in the title may well refer to its 9th century construction by the many Danish who lived in England at the time and who dedicated the church to St Clement, patron saint of mariners. Mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, the church escaped damage in the Great Fire of 1666 but was rebuilt by Christopher Wren in 1681. Not so lucky during the Blitz, it was all but destroyed in 1941 and restored in 1958 as the central church of the Royal Air Force.
Dean's Yard, Westminster, London, SW1P 3PA
People have been worshipping on this site for over 1,000 years, dating back to when Benedictine monks arrived circa 960. From these humble beginnings Westminster Abbey has become one of the most famous churches in history, not least because of its awesome architecture, with kings and queens having started and ended their reigns within its majestic walls for centuries. But, even though the Abbey has witnessed its fair share of pomp and ceremony - early examples are King Edward's burial and William the Conqueror's coronation - it still retains a tradition of daily worship, counting itself not just as an historic building but as a living church within the Church of England. Enjoy a special recital on Tuesday in Holy Week (22nd March) when The Choir of Westminster Abbey will be performing JS Bach's St Matthew Passion. James O'Donnell, the Abbey's organist and Master of the Choristers, conducts.
Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4JJ
Set in the heart of the West End, St Martin-in-the-Fields is a popular place of worship and is frequently full to the rafters for its services and excellent concert programme. Every Easter it has a comprehensive programme of religious services and prayers, including services in Mandarin and Cantonese (for the nearby Oriental population of Chinatown). The annual Palm Sunday Procession is always one for the diary and includes a procession from Admiralty Arch led by a donkey. The historic church, which overlooks Trafalgar Square, was designed by James Gibbs and built in 1726. It houses a glorious eaterie - the Cafe in the Crypt - a gift shop, brass rubbing centre, art gallery and a market in the courtyard. Candle-lit concerts are held from Thursday to Saturday, there are free lunchtime recitals on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and jazz on Wednesdays. All profits go to support the work of the church, with its particular ministry to the homeless.
Events at St Martin-in-the-Fields
Monday 25th July 2016 - 1pm-1.45pm | Free suggested donation 3.50
The Romanian pianist performs Bach's Prelude And Fugue In F, Haydn's Sonata No 47 In B Minor, Chopin's Scherzo In B Flat Minor, Debussy's Estampes and Bouree by Enescu.
Monday 25th July 2016 - 6.30pm-7.30pm | £15, concs £13.50
Andrew Earis conducts St Martin's Voices in a performance of Byrd's Mass For Four Voices, Sing Joyfully, Sheppard's In Manus Tuas, The Lord's Prayer, Gibbons's Almighty And Everlasting God, O Clap Your Hands, Tallis's If ...
Tuesday 26th July 2016 - 7.30pm-9.30pm | £20, concs £18
The Feinstein Ensemble directed by Martin Feinstein perform Telemann's Concerto For Recorder, Two Violins And Continuo In G Minor, Trio Sonata For Recorder, Violin And Continuo In A Minor and Concerto For Recorder, Two Violins ...
Thursday 28th July 2016 - 7.30pm-9.30pm | £24, concs £21.60
Peter G Dyson conducts pianist Costas Fotopoulos and Belmont Ensemble Of London as they perform Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, Bach's Air On The G String and Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Salzburg Symphony No 2, Piano Concerto ...
Saturday 29th October 2016 - 10.15am | £12, NUS/under 16s £10.80
Andrew Earis and members of the St Martin's Voices present a workshop of choruses from Handel's oratorio Messiah, before a lunchtime performance.
IN THIS ARTICLE
All Souls Church, Langham Place
St Paul's Cathedral
St Clement Danes
Easter in London 2016
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