Three Steps to Heaven

From 9 – 11 September, England held the annual Heritage Open Days festival (heritageopendays.org.uk). I was in London for the weekend, staying in Alie Street, Aldgate. As chance would have it, just over the road, one of the buildings open for the weekend was St George’s German Lutheran Church. Opened in 1763, it is the oldest surviving German church in Britain. Whitechapel housed as many as 16,000 German immigrants at one time and was consequently known as ‘Little Germany’. However, the changing population of the East End of London meant that the congregation dwindled and so, in 1995, the church was handed over to the Historic Chapels Trust. It is now no longer used for worship, though it can be hired for private use (including weddings), and through the year events (such as concerts) are hosted there. When I visited, I had the full attention of two attendants and a cup of tea. I also had the chance to discover objects ‘tidied away’ in the pews – including the ‘lost keys’…

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