London's most peculiar church service takes place on the first Sunday of February each year as hoards of clowns congregate at Dalston's Holy Trinity Church
. Now in its 68th year, the annual Clowns' Church Service
remembers the great Georgian gagster Joey Grimaldi, the inventor of the modern clown, who died in 1837. Around 60 clowns, harlequins, jesters and pierrots of all shapes and sizes assemble in a colourful mass of big feet, rubber noses, curly wigs, whoopee cushions and painted faces to pay their respects to Grimaldi and to light a candle for contemporary clowns who have died over the last 12 months. Beat the February frowns and arrive early to grab a seat (the popular event is best avoided by those suffering from claustrophobia or coulrophobia). The service is followed by a clown show for children in the church hall.