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Midwinter Light At Christ Church

December 21, 2018
by the gentle author

Today is the shortest day of the year and, at twenty-two minutes past ten this evening, we pass the solstice taking us back towards shorter nights and longer days. At this time when the sun is at its lowest angle, Christ Church Spitalfields can become an intricate light box with powerful rays of light entering almost horizontally from the south and illuminating Nicholas Hawksmoor’s baroque architecture in startling ways. Yesterday’s crystalline sunlight provided the ideal conditions for such phenomena and inspired me to attempt to capture of these fleeting effects of light.

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Contemplating Christ Church

A View of Christ Church

The Secrets of Christ Church

Nicholas Hawksmoor’s Churches

14 Responses leave one →
  1. Paul Loften permalink
    December 21, 2018

    Today is the shortest day of the year but you have made it last forever in our minds with these stunning photos. Simply magnifiicent . Thank you !

  2. Saba permalink
    December 21, 2018

    My spirits are lifted by your photography and writing. I suggest that you put together a tourism guide in book form for those of us who follow your posts and hope to visit. Happy Holidays — I know you are making mine happier!

  3. Hetty Startup permalink
    December 21, 2018

    Thank you for these photographs. With the ones of the interior, they especially suggest the ways the architecture cuts and trims the light like a pair of candle snuffers.

  4. Jill Wilson permalink
    December 21, 2018

    Great photos! I particularly like the ones with the shadows on the floor. Happy winter solstice!

  5. Jennifer Newbold permalink
    December 21, 2018


    Thank you for sharing your vision with us. There is majesty and splendor in even the shortest day.

  6. Helen Breen permalink
    December 21, 2018

    Holiday greetings from Boston,

    GA, what a wonderful way to celebrate the winter solstice capturing the light inside magnificent Christ Church in Spitalsfield. I have only seen it from the outside, serving as a sentinel for the whole neighborhood. The interior is breathtaking, particularly those Corinthian (?) columns. You captured very interesting angles …

  7. Anne Myserian permalink
    December 21, 2018

    What a beautiful church, beautiful light…

  8. December 21, 2018

    *** MERRY CHRISTMAS! ***
    *** JOYEUX NOËL! ***

    Love & Peace

  9. Dorothy Twining Globus permalink
    December 21, 2018

    You succeeded most admirably in capturing this beautiful winter light!
    Each day I look forward to getting your post.
    Happy Christmas

  10. Lloyd permalink
    December 21, 2018

    Lovely – many thanks and happy holidays.

  11. Debra Matheney permalink
    December 21, 2018

    Lovely. Thanks for sharing these.

  12. Jeanette permalink
    December 23, 2018

    Hawksmoor’s magnificent building complimented by the most beautifully sensitive photos.
    Uplifting meld of expression. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  13. Helen permalink
    December 25, 2018

    That’s beautiful – thank you

  14. Derek Cox OBE permalink
    February 7, 2019

    Wonderful pictures.

    For many years the Church was in a state of considerable disrepair.
    In the Crypt there was a Project for recovering homeless alcoholics

    I fondly remember the indefatigable Rev Eddie Stride who did much to re-establish the Church which is now, in my opinion, a kind of splendid museum and venue for large events, and the Crypt is a venue for various community activities.

    The current state of the Church gardens is a disgrace.

    I was secretary of the independent Christchurch Gardens Adventure Playground/Youth and Community Center from 1971 to 2009 where Peter Tabi, the Youth Worker, did sterling and dedicated work with local young people. Peter also used volunteers from the Crypt Project to keep the gardens in fine condition around a children’s playground and in the last ten years I supervised weekend activities including a Bangladeshi Women’s Gardening Group, and two children’s groups mainly from the Bangladeshi and Somali communities.

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