Choral Evensong in Honour of Christopher Wren

Church Service
Free to Attend
7 Dec 2022
Temple Church


Wren and Faith Coghill were married in the Temple Church on 7 December 1669.

Speaker: Dr Robin Griffith-Jones, Reverend and Valiant Master of the Temple: Wren at the Temple: Personal and Professional.

Wren was commissioned in 1682 to transform the – profoundly Gothic – Temple Church (1163-1240) into a fashionably classical space. His decoration and furnishings lasted until the Victorian restoration of the 1840s. His reredos was bought back from the Bowes Museum after World War II and re-installed.

Wren’s articulation of the Temple Church’s two halves was informed by the theology of Jerusalem’s Jewish Temple and of early Christian churches, all studied with extraordinary learning in late 17th century London. His patrons, the lawyers of Inner and Middle Temple, ensured that due justice was also done to the evolution of English law as invented in the myths of ‘the British History’. The result was a richly symbolic, evocative space, as poetic as it was beautiful. It can enthral and inspire us still.

The congregation is invited to refreshments in the Round after the service.

I have sent your Watch at last & envy the felicity of it, that it should be soe near your side & soe often enjoy your Eye. … .but have a care for it, for I have put such a spell into it; that every Beating of the Balance will tell you ’tis the Pulse of my Heart, which labors as much to serve you and more trewly than the Watch; for the Watch I beleeve will sometimes lie, and sometimes be idle & unwilling … but as for me you may be confident I shall never“.