Posted by: dacalu | 4 June 2008

St Martin in the Fields

I wanted to write a special note just so I could insert pictures and tell you a little about St. Martin in the Fields here in London (www2.stmartin-in-the-fields.org). The vicar, Nick Holtam kindly met me and talked with me for awhile about the history and mission of the church. St. Martin’s used to be out in the fields of Westminster, but the city grew and now it’s on Trafalgar square. Things to look for–it’s the style that American churches are designed after. (Looks very congregationalist to me.) The “stumbling block” on the front step is a “creche alternative.” It’s a carved baby on a stone with a scripture passage around it from the opening of John. The East window was a recent commission–very cool. The statue is a statue of George Washington “kindly” donated to Britain by the commonwealth of Virginia. It’s in front of the National Gallery and St. Martin.

Cotans might be interested in St. Martin’s because it has a small congregation but runs a cafe and provides space and commissions for artists.  It might be an interesting model for future growth.  St. Martin’s also has an immensely successful care for the poor program and a Chinese cultural center.  They are, like us, nearing completion of a major renovation.

Internet has been down, and it has been a very busy few days, so I want to leave a couple notes in case I don’t get back to them. I went to morning mass at Westminster Abbey Tuesday in the Edward the Confessor chapel (at the heart of the minster), and met the dean. Allergies have developed into a rather unfortunate persistent cough.  Prayers would be appreciated.  I hopped a train to Cambridge to catch the original Goth Mass–it was awesome.  Alas, I missed the last train back, so I experienced late night bus travel in the UK. I also got a chance to visit Lambeth palace and talk to the director of communications for the Anglican Communion.  More on all of this soon.  Peace.

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