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The Old Church of St. Mary’s, Stoke Newington.

31 Mar

st-marys-church-stoke-newington-007It’s been a very busy March, both for good and not so good reasons. No need to focus on the negative on here though, so I’ll give you a generous helping of the very good.

Two very dear friends of mine, Tim and Julie, got married on March 7th after many years together. What made this especially of interest to some people reading this blog was the venue they chose for their wedding meal and reception, although the word ’reception’ was never used. It was far more bourgeois affair than that, and all the better for it!

In a rather topsy-turvy fashion the secular wedding took place in Stoke Newington Town Hall (a handsome Art Deco building itself) with extra festivities in the Rose And Crown pub. But within walking distance was the Old Church of St. Mary’s, now the oldest surviving Renaissance era church in London, although one section was re-built following bombing in WWII.

I can’t recommend the place enough, and it proved the setting for one of the most memorable weddings I’ve been to. I was also the best man, and had the honour and thrill of delivering my speech from the pulpit! The church is still used for religious services, but its second life as a host to many creative events is not to be underestimated. It’s really given the church a new lease of life for the 21st century as an art and performance space.

It’s worth a look anyway, as it’s a handsome old building, but for anyone in the London area planning an appropriate event, it might be the atmospheric venue you needed.


Putting up ivy: essential preparation to make a wedding look rustic and ironically slightly pagan, despite being in an old Christian church.


The Old Church in full effect as the venue of the Bleasdale-Lee’s excellent wedding.


Words from the pulpit.