Wednesday, November 16, 2016

When Churches Fail

In Eastcheap, near Fenchurch St. in London, stands the medieval church of St. Margaret Pattens. Founded in 1067 and rebuilt by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of 1666, it slowly lost its congregation. It was closed as a parish church in 1952—more than 900 years after opening its doors. St. Margaret Pattens still offers some weekday services to those working around its urban location. It also remains open to passerbys like me, interested in canopied pews and an 18th-century organ.  It is a peaceful space: quiet, beautiful, calm. It is also is an empty space.

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