Located just off busy Sloane Square, Holy Trinity is one of the Churches most closely associated with the Arts & Crafts movement in the UK, and is a stunning monument to late 19th century decorative art.
Inspired by people like John Ruskin and William Morris, the movement triumphed hand-made craftsmanship in an age of emerging mass-production. Alongside aesthetic considerations was the belief that such skills were the hallmark of human creativity and endeavour, and the desire to provide work for artisans displaced by industrialisation. Their message was to make everyday objects beautiful, and to revere nature through crafts, painting and architecture.
The church was built for the 5th Earl Cadogan by the architect John Sedding, and decorated and furnished by the likes of William Morris, Edward Brunes-Jones and Henry Wilson. The handsome west frontage is in orange-red brick with banded stone decoration, with a huge perpendicular window. The interior plan is straightforward: a wide nave (wider than St Paul's Cathedral) and spacious north aisle, and a smaller south aisle. These lead to a short chancel and sanctuary, which sits beneath an enormous East Window.
But it is the rich fittings and furnishings which catch the eye. No expense was spared: there is an abundance of marble, porphyry, alabaster, bronze and gilt. As well as astonishing stained glass - the East Window is William Morris's largest - every item, from the light fittings to the screens and railings - is elaborately conceived and executed. A visit is a must if you are in the area - and a welcome distraction from the retail temptations close by.
The church also has a very active worship and music programme - see website for details. At Christmas, it is also renowned for selling one of the best selections of charity Christmas Cards in London.
Sloane Street, Chelsea, London, SW1X 9BZ