I don’t know if it was the wintry atmosphere or the sudden glimpse of the church tower through the trees which made me pay more attention to St. Dunstan’s than I usually do and appreciate the strange sense of it still being a rural parish church on the edge of a big city.
This was the view of the church through the trees:-
The back door:-
One of the tombs inset into the south wall:-
A detail of the carved decoration:-
And the leaded pipework:-
2 thoughts on “St. Dunstan’s, Stepney”
I can never see pictures of the grounds of St Dunstan’s without thinking of the Reverend Norrie McCurry, rector of St Dunstan’s in the 1970s and, in particular, of the magnificent Passion Plays he staged there. Despite my dad’s reservations about any involvement with a Protestant church (he was a staunch Irish Catholic) we were allowed to go and follow around a group of amateur actors restaging the Passion in among those tombs you have documented. I must have been a young teenager at the time and I can remember a sense of wide eyed awe at the proceedings. We had a very good view of the church from our 13th floor balcony and I can remember my dad pointing out, when the council rehoused us after sixteen years, just how much the skyline around St Dunstan’s had changed in that time with much high rise building having followed on from our flats.
I found the article about you in the FT at the weekend really interesting. I was thinking about how the London Symphony Orchestra also has an unusual way of running itself (one of my children has had a longstanding involvement with the LSO via their outreach programme). As someone who is just a consumer of arts I, of course, rarely give a thought to how decisions are made about what is to be produced. Fascinating.
Dear Joan, I’m so pleased to hear this and fascinated by the idea of the Passion Plays. We do a lot with St. James’s Piccadilly who have a wonderful and generous open door policy to the arts. And, yes, you’re right about the governance structure of orchestras. It’s a version of the same idea of election by a peer group. Lawyers do it too. Charles