The Church of S. Mary the Virgin, Bourne Street, London.
Rightly regarded as the ‘Highest’ of all the Anglo-Catholic Churches, only surpassed by S. Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge in the days of Fr. Ffynes-Clinton.
Although architecturally unremarkable the building has a character unlike any other church, John Betjeman described it as the ‘stateliest drawing room in Christendom’ and that is exactly the effect it has. All is paneled and dark, only to be set off by the magnificent gilded High Altar and its furniture. Also to top this off it has the finest collection of vestments for any parish church in England (although this is contested by the Assumption of the BVM, Upper Froyle. which I shall cover in a later post).
However above all the people are its greatest asset, the verger who allowed me to take photos was the kindest I have ever met and even gave me a free copy of ‘Streets of Heaven’ a book that illustrates the churches history.
You must visit this church but make sure you arrange it before hand (it is only open during services or by appointment), you will not regret it.