My grandchildren are like all the other teenagers who come to London with their idealistic grandparents who are determined to visit every church they can find–the grandparents, that is. There is a low groan and then an outright teenage sulky mood; I love their “deadly” faces and sudden dragging feet–all like a yard of crepe when I announce we are going to visit ANOTHER CHURCH. I do all the right things like telling them that it is for their future education, and that they will be better for the effort. No matter what I say, one church a day is about all I am successful visiting when having several grandchildren in tow. However, I am determined that they will visit ALL SOULS at Langham Place. Somehow, the visit is always successful, smiles come back, and the baggy jeans and sloppy tennis shoes all get a bit more starch in them, and life gets back to normal.
On Sunday, there are several services: 8 AM Communion, 9:30 and 10:30 Sunday Services, and evening service at 6:30 PM. For me, the best way to make the Sunday work is to attend services at our congregation on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, then go for lunch wherever my dear “shaggy heads” want to go, and then to All Souls at 6:30 PM. After that, we always end up in some cafe in Covent Garden having a good time for one reason or another. But the point is, I was successful slipping in one more church. And in this case, it is ALL SOULS at Langham Place, Marylebone. It is so beautiful and has such history; I just can’t skip the visit.
All Souls is an Anglican church in Marylebone at the north end of Regent Street on Langham Place. It was built in 1823 by John Nash, George IV’s favorite architect. It was built of Bath stone like the original part of Buckingham Palace. The spire has 17 concave sides on a base of Corinthian columns. It is the last surviving church designed and built by Nash.
The interior of the church is very beautiful and refined with exquisite columns set against white walls and gilt tracery. The magnificent organ has been updated several times, but the Spanish mahogany case was designed by Nash himself. The case was taken away during World War II for safety while parts of the building suffered bomb damage.
I love this church with its long rows of columns, lots of light, and beautiful clear space. When the organ starts to play, the entire church is magic. At the end of the service,look at the back to see the beautiful contrast of the dark wood of the organ against the white walls with the Royal Coat of Arms blazing away.
It is really very beautiful. I have always been amazed that this evangelical church is very different from other London Anglican Churches because there is always a large congregation–sometimes up to 2,500 people in attendance.
I like this building; it is so different. I know you will also. Such history. When you stand back and admire it, you will see the similarities between this church and the original part of Buckingham Palace. After all, it was the same architect.
Thomas Moore email: TMooreSr@me.com Telephone: 801.791.9918