All Saints, Margaret Street

I like to think I’m a creature of the enlightenment, so in matters of religion I distrust distrust candles, incense and ritual – and particularly vestments – but on the other hand I adore the excesses of Victorian architecture. This means I go into rapture over truly extreme Victorian High Anglicanism in the form known as Tractarianism.

All Saints was built precisely to celebrate that tradition by William Butterfield, the architectural high-priest of the movement (he also did Keble College Oxford in exactly the same style.)

Nowadays All Saints seems an impossibly over-ornate church on a cramped site, pushing an outmoded version of the faith with only an eclectic congregation to push it to…but I still love the place.

No photos of the lovely interior from me (it’s just hopelessly dark and smoky) but I’ve snatched one of the newly-restored baptistery from the All Saints Margaret Street website. Outside, well, you get the idea…imagine architecture crossed with Fair-Isle knitting.