Christ Church, Spitalfields

Christ Church, Spitalfields

London, E1 6LY, United Kingdom

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0207 377 6793

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Christ Church Spitalfields, is an Anglican church built between 1714 and 1729 to a design by Nicholas Hawksmoor. Situated on Commercial Street, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, on its western border and facing the City of London, it was one of the first (and arguably one of the finest) of the so-called "Commissioners' Churches" built for the Commission for Building Fifty New Churches, which had been established by an Act of Parliament in 1711.The purpose of the Commission was to acquire sites and build fifty new churches to serve London's new settlements. This parish was carved out of the huge medieval Stepney parish for an area then dominated by Huguenots (French Protestants and other 'dissenters' who owed no allegiance to the Church of England and thus to the King) as a show of Anglican authority. Some Huguenots used it for baptisms, marriages and burials but not for everyday worship, preferring their own chapels (their chapels were severely plain compared with the bombastic English Baroque style of Christ Church) though increasingly they assimilated into English life and Anglican worship—which was in the eighteenth century relatively plain.The Commissioners for the new churches included Christopher Wren, Thomas Archer and John Vanbrugh appointed two surveyors, one of whom was Nicholas Hawksmoor. Only twelve of the planned fifty churches were built, of which six were designed by Hawksmoor.

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