What do you think a church is?


A long and long-running debate, but I mean what do you think a church building looks like? Most people in the UK would draw medieval or Victorian designs, with some in London adding Classical structures too.

I was puzzling over why I found Birmingham Cathedral so unusual when I came across Alexandra Wedgwood’s description of it as “subtle Baroque”, and that works for me. It’s close to some facades in Sicily and apparently the architect Thomas Archer – who also designed St John’s Smith Square, where I was last night – was the only one of Wren’s contemporaries who travelled to Rome.

Sicily May 2015 138

Sicily May 2015 151

It also made me laugh that the dedication to St Philip is an unsubtle reference to Inge and Elizabeth Phillips, who’d donated the land for the plot.

Birmingham photo December 2015; Ragusa cathedral photos May 2015.

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