St Bartholomew the Great

Last week, Isobel from IsobelandCat’s Blog told me about A Service of Nine Lessons & Carols with the Choir of St Bartholomew the Great.   We attended this service on Sunday night.  Not only was the singing amazing, but the church is beautiful.  In 1123 it opened as an Augustinian Priory.  Since 1143 it has been used as a place of worship.   This church survived the Great Fire of London in 1666, the bombs dropped by Zeppelins in World War I, and the Blitz in World War II.  The church was featured in the movies Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, Amazing Grace, The End of the Affair, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and The Other Boleyn Girl.

After the service on my way out I snapped some photos.  There were a lot of people so the pictures were quick and not so great.  I hope it gives you an idea of how lovely the service was and the stunning  church.  Thanks Isobel for the wonderful suggestion.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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38 Responses to St Bartholomew the Great

  1. You lucky, lucky thing. And this church holds a very special place in my heart as my beloved (now long gone) grandfather was operated on in St Barts hospital to save his life. Lovely to see the photos!

    • TBM says:

      Ah thanks for sharing that story. This is a special place for you! Grandfathers are special. Like you, I cherish the memories of mine.

      • IsobelandCat says:

        You probably know St Barts-the-Less as well then; the little church in the hospital. It has a portrait of Rahere with his jester’s stockings under his monk’s habit behind the altar.

  2. Caroline says:

    I love night shots. I particularly like photo 3.
    This looks like such a beautiful church.

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Caroline. It was an amazing church. Growing up in the western part of the US, I haven’t seen too many churches like this one. I’m loving the architecture here and the history.

  3. I love visiting churches, temples, places of worship. It’s great that you discovered this one, and that you had a chance to snap some photos!! 🙂

  4. niasunset says:

    These are so beautiful dear TBM… what an amazing colours in the church… I remember this church from some of the films… I wished to be there too… I am sure it was amazing ambience and songs… Thank you, thank you for sharing with us too… Happy New Year and Merry Christmas dear TBM, with my love, nia

  5. Kristina says:

    So beautiful, I have’t been to this church 😀 I want to go to St Martins in the Fields, they have jazz nights there 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Oooo…I’ll have to look into St Martins in the Fields. I love jazz! I was in New Orleans last Christmas and I loved all the jazz places. Such a great atmosphere.

  6. Alexandra says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a church in purple. The first photo with the golden center really draws attention.

    • TBM says:

      Thanks. I was a little surprised by the purple as well, pleasantly surprised since it is my favorite color.

      • Alexandra says:

        oh, so it’s not typical over there? I thought maybe it’s a traditional colour for churches there. Purple is my favourite too! Well, used to be, I think I’ve probably overused it a bit in my life.

      • TBM says:

        I’m not sure if that is the normal color. My impression was that it was for the Carol service. But this was my first time in this church. And I haven’t seen the insides of that many churches here. We just moved here this Autumn so I am still getting used to what is normal here.

        I don’t know, can you overuse purple?

  7. Alexandra says:

    Oh, I see 🙂 I didn’t know you just moved there.
    Well …said I looking at a purple sweater which’s on me … I’m not sure …

    • TBM says:

      We moved from Boston and are loving London. And I have a purple t shirt on as I write this and I have a purple pen next to the computer. I had a boss at work who probably loved purple more than me. He had purple shirts, ties, socks. And if you stole his purple pens he would get angry. No one else in the office could have a purple pen so he could keep track of his. He was much older and forgetful so I observed this rule.

      • Alexandra says:

        haha, that’s amusing :)) both the story about your boss and the fact that we both are wearing purple right now.
        I don’t have any pens around, so maybe it means I am indeed distancing myself from the colour. The moment I had a choice between 5 purple sweaters to wear I knew I had to change something 😀
        London must be very different from Boston. So you said you like it there? It’s a very beautiful city!

      • TBM says:

        It is a beautiful city! I’m loving. You have me beat in the purple sweater category. I only have two.

  8. The Hook says:

    Extarordinary shots! Thanks for sharing.

  9. IsobelandCat says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. Where are you going for midnight communion?
    As you like jazz, St Anne and St Agnes holds a Jazz Vespers service about once a month.
    You are going to see a lot of churches! Also St Giles in Camberwell has a jazz club in the crypt. At least, I think it’s still going.

    • TBM says:

      A jazz club in the crypt…that sounds amazing! I’ll have to look into all of these places. Not sure about midnight communion. Where are you heading? I’m loving that these churches have jazz. I never would have thought that. Thanks again for the suggestion. It was lovely.

  10. IsobelandCat says:

    Probably staying home but having a couple of friends in for drinks and nibbles. I may head for Westminster Abbey at some point as the choir is sublime.

    • TBM says:

      I can only imagine! We usually like to stay in on holidays, but who knows this year. We are heading to York on New Year’s Eve to stay the weekend with friends. I’m looking forward to that.

  11. IsobelandCat says:

    You will love York. It is a beautiful city, and you should be able to get out and about for Miles to have avoid run. Are you taking Atticus too?

  12. IsobelandCat says:

    That should be ‘ a good run’ not sure how it turned into avoid…

    • TBM says:

      Trust me he doesn’t avoid running. He loves it 🙂 I wonder what our fingers and brain are thinking when they do that.

      Atticus and Miles are staying behind. Our friends have three small children and pets of their own so we figured it would be less stressful to leave them at home. We have a woman staying here with them.

  13. IsobelandCat says:

    I have a good friend who now lives on Skye. A few years ago we wanted to visit Uist while I was staying with her. We took her dog too and stayed in the scruffiest hotel at Lochmaddy, but it was fun having the dog with us and she had a brilliant time, finally achieving her long held ambition of sleeping in my friend’s bedroom!

    • TBM says:

      I hate that the hotels that accept pets are the scruffiest. Miles loves hotel rooms. He jumps on one bed and then the next. He’s like a kid. When Att goes he will sniff the same spot for hours.

      I’m glad your friend finally realized her ambition!

  14. Seasweetie says:

    Lovely shots. I’m so looking forward to more London pictures from you!

    • TBM says:

      Thanks! I will keep them coming as long as you keep sharing your wonderful photos, especially the ones from Colorado. I do miss the mountains and the fresh air.

  15. What a gorgeous place! You’re so lucky to be able to experience it during the holidays.

  16. Wonderful pictures and thanks for sharing that. I learned something new today 🙂

  17. Jo Bryant says:

    Such a beautiful atmosphere – lucky girl

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