The Garden Church

I have a new favourite place. Just past the fantastically named Hung, Drawn and Quartered pub in the shadow of the Tower of London, down a slope into a quiet street of gloomy office buildings, sits what is left of St. Dunstan-in-the-East church. German bombs reduced it to its present state and (please forgive me for saying it) provided a wonderful opportunity for nature to take over. 

I hate ordered gardens, but at the same time overgrown spaces aren’t easy on the eye either.  Let weeds and trees grow but make sure they behave themselves. That’s what they’ve done at St. Dunstan’s, having allowed nature to take a hold and make an impression, but at the same time reigning it in to show off the jagged remains of the church.

It’s a strange feeling, lying on a patch of grass in the middle of what was once a church. Just because no one comes here to worship anymore (or maybe some still do) does that make it any less of a holy building? I tried to imagine all of the events that occured in that space, all the words spoken, hymns that were sung and local people who loved this space, back when this part of London was still a real city for them to live in.


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