Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday's spotlight - One of London's Hidden Secrets

By guest blogger Pete.

As I get older I find that my forgetfulness increases.  Just before Pam and I left our elder daughter, after a recent visit to her, my younger grandson gave me a list of "T.T."s for me to use in this blog.  When I arrived home I put that list in a safe place.  MISTAKE - BIGBIGBIGMISTAKE.  I can't find it now because I've forgotten where that "safe location" is. Sorry, Peter.  If you will email me another list of "T.T."s then I'll be able to use it next week.  In the meantime; "T.T."means..............  Well, I'll tell you next week.

Some of you have probably come to realise that I am a photography nut. (John knew this years ago).  A couple of years ago I spent a day in London and roamed around the old city area surrounding St Paul's Cathedral.  I managed to get some great shots of interiors from some of the very old churches there.  A few weeks ago, whilst on that visit to Mary, I decided to investigate some of the churches in the city of Westminster.

As one does - why do folk never say "As two do"? - I googled "City of Westminster churches" and this produced a whole list of places for me.  Thus it was that I came across one of the most beautiful churches that I've ever visited.  It's not on any tourist map and it's a few miles away from the city centre.  You could well say that this is one of London's hidden treasures.

The church I am referring to is St Augustine, Kilburn.  It is an easy church to find if you approach it from the London Underground.  Kilburn has two underground stations - the one I used was Kilburn Park.  As you leave the station you can see the tower of the church quite clearly - terra cotta red in colour - and it is about 5 minutes walk away.

The interior of the church is a Biblical art treasure.  There are wonderful wall paintings, mosaics, tiling, colour, stained glass - you name it this place has got it.  St Augustine's Church is an Anglo-Catholic COE Church built, I think, in early Victorian times. 

The whole of the interior - wall space and floor space - is a continuous work of art.  I haven't finished the photos that I took when I visited  but I'll post some with this blog to give you an idea of what the interior of the building is like.

The Vicar, a really helpful and friendly man, dare not leave the church open and unattended.  The last time he did this two very valuable paintings were stolen.  The building stands in a deprived area of the city and its exterior is showing signs of vandalism and damage.  The Vicar is willing to arrange access to the church at mutually convenient times (the Vicarage is in the Church grounds).  If you're a tourist visiting London or someone who likes photographing churches then contact me through the "comments" section of this blog and I'll let you have his name and contact number.

Have a great Easter.  This is the most triumphant festival of the Christian year so "ENJOY"!

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