Eight Buildings for Eight Faiths in London

Charlie Forman gives the November lecture for The Arts Society Ealing

New arrivals leave their imprint on a city
New arrivals leave their imprint on a city

November 22, 2023

This month’s lecture from The Arts Society Ealing will be given by Charlie Forman and is titled Eight Buildings for Eight Faiths in London.

New arrivals leave their imprint on a city – nowhere more so than in London, where Jews, Muslims, Roman Catholics, Hindus, Methodists, Sikhs, Buddhists and Orthodox Greeks have each added their own layer. Not least, they have all left a remarkable signature. Here are eight faith communities that can each point to a special place they built, not on first arrival, but when numbers and self-confidence had grown in the knowledge they had established themselves for the long term.

Crucially, it was when they had the wealth and resources to commission great architecture. So we have a synagogue, a chapel, a gurdwara, a monastery, a couple of cathedrals, a temple and a mosque, permanent markers of the highest quality. Their differences stretch across cultures and 300 hundred years of persecutions and economic crises. But their similarities are also striking.

The lecturer, Charlie Forman is a London walking tour guide and lecturer who highlights the social, architectural and artistic history of his home city, a city that claims a historic core larger and richer than any other world city. He is a member of the City of Westminster Guide Lecturers Association, and his talks focus on the forces that have shaped and changed this multi-faceted metropolis and the artistic and cultural heritage that this has given us. During the seven years build-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games he played a role in channelling potential long-term benefits into surrounding East London communities. His publications include Spitalfields: A battle for land.

This talk is at 7:30pm on Monday 27 November at St Barnabas Church Hall, Pitshanger Lane, Ealing W5 1QG.

Sparkling wine and mince pies will be served at this lecture, as it is the society’s last lecture for this year.

Visitors are welcome to attend at £8 per lecture (reduced to £3 for students); payment can be made by cash on the evening or in advance by contacting: spsecretarytase@gmail.com

The Arts Society Ealing belongs to the large umbrella organisation, The Arts Society, previously known as the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS), which was founded in 1968. The local Society, which has a membership of around 140, is now one of the 388 member societies of The Arts Society that have been formed throughout the United Kingdom, in parts of Europe and in Australia and New Zealand.

The Arts Society Ealing holds 10 lectures a year and more information can be found by visiting its web site.

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