/shop front churches
Images from the Shop Front Churches project, exhibited in December 2009 at the Viewfinder Gallery, Greenwich, London.
This series explores churches in south east London that inhabit ex-commercial, industrial or residential buildings. With their identity only revealed by a name on a sign, they blend into their surroundings and are easily missed by passers by. It's these names that often add the most intrigue and surprise to the overall picture as they appear so at odds with what you're looking at.
Shop front churches are far, far removed from the more common perception of what a church should be–the conventional church that shouts at you with grandiose and ostentatious architecture. It brings into question the whole idea of what a church is all about–is it the interaction and connection of a local community, or is it who has the tallest spire and the most stained glass?
The accompanying catalogue to this exhibition included an apt quote from the Bishop of Reading: "How did it come to this that we have become known as just the Marks and Spencer option, when in our heart of hearts we know that Jesus would just as likely be in the queue at Asda or Aldi?"