"Faith and money-making do not immediately strike one as easy bedfellows and yet why does the Square Mile, London’s financial centre, have over forty churches and places of worship squeezed in between its towers of commerce? This unexpected concentration of both global businesses and churches intrigued me. Are these places of worship still functioning or are they are now just ancient buildings visited by a few tourists? What are contemporary clergy up to and how do they relate to the transitory, financial community surrounding them?
Curious, I started photographing the day-to-day workings of these beautiful buildings and discovered a hidden and surprisingly vibrant world of worship, stretching out into many different faiths. The book Faith in the City of London is the result of over 200 visits to most of the City’s places of worship, as well as outside spiritual events. It has been a real privilege to have gained such access and I now have a completely different perspective on the City of London. Despite its reputation as a financially obsessed powerhouse, it has been fascinating to realise that it is also home to a whole host of spiritual goings-on and charismatic clergy."
Faith in the City of London, published by Unicorn Publishing
Read on to see 10 images from Faith in the City of London, specially selected by Niki for Our City Together.
The first fire of Easter is lit in St Bartholomew the Great’s cloister before the Paschal Candle is carried through for the First Mass.
Father Chris Vipers prepares the Eucharist at the high altar in St Mary Moorfields, the only Roman Catholic church within the Square Mile.
The highly popular Revd. Bertrand Olivier celebrates his 10 year anniversary as vicar of All Hallows by the Tower. He is now Dean and Rector of Montreal’s Christ Church Anglican Cathedral.
The first woman Anglican Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, chats with His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, at her St Paul’s Cathedral installation service in May 2018.
No mosque within the City means that Muslim Friday Prayers are held in hired rooms, such as in the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers’ livery hall. Workers from nearby offices stream in to fill two floors of these grand staterooms near Guildhall.
Service of Investiture by The Grand Priory of Knights Templar at St Stephen Walbrook.
Services within such ancient City churches as St Bartholomew the Great can still evoke the pagan rites from which much of faith today originates.
A jazz band leads the the Lloyd’s Choir and congregation into the garden for a celebration supper after the St James Day service at St Katharine Cree.
A little help from holy water outside St Vedast-alias-Foster, as the procession makes its way through the streets of the City from St Giles’ Cripplegate to St Paul’s Cathedral.
Over four hundred clergy arrive to parade through Paternoster Square into St Paul’s Cathedral for Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London’s farewell celebrations.
As a British fine art photographer specialising in images of London and Londoners for over 20 years, Niki Gorick has established a reputation for capturing the true character of the city. Niki’s enthusiasm for creating images led to a career spanning theatre photography, journalism,television camerawork and script writing in Canada, Hong Kong and Scotland, as well as London, where she now lives and works. Her photographs have been exhibited throughout London, including at the Barbican and the National Maritime Museum, and are in both private and corporate collections.