The most recent is the Fitzrovia Chapel, now part of the £700m Fitzroy development. When the Middlesex hospital was closed in 2005, then demolished in 2008, the grade II* listed hospital chapel was the only part of the hospital to survive. Aerial photos of the lone chapel surrounded by wasteland for years made for a sad and poignant image:
Designed by the Gothic Revivalist architect John Loughborough Pearson, who also created the Truro cathedral in Cornwall, the chapel was completed by his son, Frank, and opened in 1929. Frank added many of the flourishes for which it is famous today, including lavish marble and mosaic, in the style of Italian Gothic and Romanesque.
|Ceiling of Fitzrovia chapel|
As befits a chapel built for the young (it's devoted to the patron saint of children), imagery of children, flowers, owls, squirrels and mythical beasts adorn the interior, with stained glass windows, paintings and murals depicting child-related scenes from the Bible (and quite probably Alice in Wonderland). Most charmingly (and heartbreakingly), though, are all the soft toys on the window sills and behind the alter (referred to as the teddy bear choir).
|St Christopher's chapel|
Large churches can often be overwhelming and intimating (that's partly the point of them – to be awe inspiring) but I far prefer a small chapel – they feel more intimate, personal and, perhaps, closer to God.