Thursday, 9 August 2018

Hidden Gems - a Trip to London 2

After Aftermath, I left Tate Britain and went to join my family at the British Library. On the way, I stopped in at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, Mayfair.

It is easy to miss this church, as it is entered from a little square of parkland, rather than from the street itself. Built in 1844, it is a lovely Neo-Gothic oasis of quietness, highly redemptive after you have experienced ten or fifteen minutes surrounded by crowds on Oxford Street and, as a consequence, find yourself on the brink of hating the entire human race other than yourself.

The altar was designed by Pugin, he of Houses of Parliament repute - I seem to have forgotten to take a photograph of it.

At present the church houses a surprisingly compelling, recently painted photo realist Last Supper. Intriguing though it is, I thought it was in the wrong place, as the church itself is already replete with things to look at.

Mind you some people seem a bit blasé about the beauty of the surroundings - surely the fire hydrant didn't need to be dumped just there in front of an altar? And possibly that cardboard box could be put away somewhere too.

It was moving to be reminded of these two fine human beings - Father Frans van Der Lugt, murdered in Syria on 7 April, 2014 and Father Paolo All'Oglio, disappeared in Syria on 29 July, 2013:


  1. I think they must celebrate the early Mass in a side chapel, for I was there in late 2005, and remember a respectable small space, and the cogency--as one would expect from a Jesuit--of the homily.

  2. That sounds right as there are several side chapels, despite the church being relatively small - that pierced roof is over one, the painted crucifixion scene is in another, the gold altar another, and the fire hydrant bedecked altar yet one more.