Just off Sloane Square is a church that amongst many notable things, also also famously wider that St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s name is also as long as it’s wide, being The Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity with Saint Jude, Upper Chelsea — although fortunately often shortened to Holy Trinity Sloane Street.

Built in 1888-90, it replaced a gothic revival church that was itself a mere 60 years old, but the population was growing, and so they needed a bigger church to cope. Away with the old gothic, in with a temporary tin tabernacle, and this massive church built instead.

Designed by the church architect, John Dando Sedding, who died just after it was completed, although the internal decoration had to be taken over by Henry Wilson, who technically never completed the work as a number of planed additions were not added.

What was added though is a lot of stained glass, including the huge work above the altar, and some rather nice side chapels.

The church was badly damaged by incendiary bombs in World War II but was restored more or less to its previous appearance by the early 1960s. It was then nearly demolished to be replaced with a smaller church, but a campaign led by John Betjeman and the Victorian Society prevented that.

Considering its location in Chelsea, it’s had a lot of famous people associated with it from bohemian actors to Prime Ministers. On my visit, staff were cleaning and dusting after a service, and a large side shop was doing a good trade in early sales of charity Christmas cards.

As for its width — the church is 9 inches wider than St Paul’s Cathedral.


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One comment
  1. JP says:

    It’s a great High Church Protestant exemplar and if ~ forgive me ~ bells and smells services are something that you realise that you miss from the more usual, ever-less traditional C of E fare; then I commend it to you.
    From another angle, the church, its art and architecture is a fillip to the rush outside.

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