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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Great Fire 350 and St Stephen Walbrook

The Bishop of London, The Rt Revd Richard Chartres, will preach from the fine Wren Church of St Stephen, Walbrook in the City of London, to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire. The service will be broadcast by BBC Radio 4 as Sunday Worship on 4th September 2016 at 8.10am.

Early on Sunday, 2nd September 1666, a fire in a bakery near London Bridge became out of control and a strong wind fanned the flames westward. Not only the wooden houses, but warehouses, public buildings and churches were consumed in the fierce heat - molten lead running in the gutters, while stone was burnt to lime. The Great Fire destroyed over three quarters of the City.

A large number of the City Churches were rebuilt, many designed by Sir Christopher Wren, including one of his most famous, St Stephen Walbrook.

The ever increasing range and diversity of Christian worship in the City Churches today is celebrated in this act of worship, which includes contributions from some of the newer priests in the City, including Rev David Ingall from St Sepulchre's, and Revd Sally Muggeridge from St Stephen's. The service is led by the Priest-in-Charge of St Stephen Walbrook, Revd Jonathan Evens.

All are welcome. If you would like to attend please be seated in St Stephen's by 7.45am. Alternatively listen live on BBC Radio 4 at 8.10am, or on BBC Iplayer for the next 30 days.

As part of commemorations to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire, the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London, a City Livery Company, has chosen 10 London secondary schools each to design a piece of glass artwork on the theme of the Great Fire, in collaboration with a leading contemporary glass artist.

The resulting works from these collaborations will be on display at an exhibition, London Ablaze, at the church of St Stephen Walbrook, next to the Mansion House, at the heart of the City on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd September (10am-4pm). The Friday is the 350th anniversary of the day the Great Fire started.

Early in 2016 the Glass Sellers’ Company selected ten artists and ten schools, allocating an artist to each school. Up to 15 students in Year 8 or 9 (age range 13-15) were chosen by each school to work with the artist. The process started by pupils learning about what happened during the Great Fire. They then worked with the artist for at least a day to design a work that interpreted the pupils’ vision of the Great Fire. The artists have then produced the works in their studios.

The ten works are also being judged, with the winning school, teacher, pupils and artist receiving a glass work made especially by Andreya Bennett. The winner will be announced at a reception in the Church on the evening of Thursday 1st September.

Resurgence, resilience and the evolution of the City of London are some of the key themes explored in LONDON’S BURNING, a series of spectacular events produced by Artichoke to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fireof London and its aftermath, taking place 30th August-4th September 2016. 

LONDON’S BURNING will bring the Square Mile and beyond to life with a series of art installations, performances and talks that will give a unique Artichoke perspective on a significant moment in the country’s history. The programme takes in landmark locations across the city and includes; an underwater performance-artwork at Broadgate; a domino-like sculpture that snakes through the city’s streets tracing the multiple paths of the fire; and a spectacular riverside finale. Audiences are invited to rediscover the City of London and adjacent areas, its past and its future. 

LONDON’S BURNING offers an opportunity to contemplate the lasting impact the Fire had on the architecture, outlook and infrastructure of the City including some of its most iconic buildings and landmarks.

The City of London looks very different now from even, say, 40 years ago. The scale of new building calls to mind another time of rapid rebuilding: after the Great Fire of 1666, when a 'more beautiful City' of brick and stone replaced the medieval wooden houses that were destroyed.

To commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire in September 2016, those who live or work in the 'square mile' of the City were invited to contribute to a public photography project, art installation and exhibition.

The Great City Photography Project will be on display at All Hallows by the Tower from 1 September-30 October, featuring a new installation by the artist Victoria Burgher, as well as a selection of the many wonderful photographs taken by members of the City of London community. Admission free, open daily during normal church opening hours.

On Friday 2nd September 2016 from 1-2pm the Deanery of the City of London will be commemorating the start of the Great Fire of London in a special service.

Starting at the church of St Mary-at-Hill on Lovat Lane, EC3R 8EE - in whose parish the fire started - a short service will remember those who lost their lives and the destruction of 89 churches. The congregation will walk up onto Eastcheap and down Pudding Lane to the site of Fariner's Bakery - the origin of the fire - for readings, prayers and a hymn. We will then move on to the Monument for another reading, prayers and hymn. Finally we will walk to the church of St Magnus the Martyr - one of the first to be destroyed - where there will be a short service giving thanks for the reconstruction of the City and its Churches.

Do join in with this public act of witness and commemoration, which is being promoted as part of Visit London and the City of London Corporation's 'Great Fire 350' programme, more details of which can be found here.


The Clash - London's Burning.

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