Friends' events

The Friends of the City Churches are currently offering a series of talks online via the Zoom video conferencing service ( Zoom is free and easy to join, and you can use it to stay in touch with friends and family, and enjoy many talks and other entertainment online.

Please book through the Eventbrite ticketing service ( This is also free and easy to join, and a gateway to all kinds of other events online. Booking helps us to predict numbers, and automates the delivery process so that you will receive booking confirmation, reminders and a clickable link to join the talk shortly before the event.

With greater capacity for events online than in person, the Friends' Zoom lectures are open to the public to offer non-members a sample of our activities. On booking, we ask for a modest donation, payable through Eventbrite, to support the work of the Friends of the City Churches, and this ongoing lecture programme, open to all while we continue to hold events online.

Talks last about an hour, with questions and answers to follow. As this content is the speakers' own intellectual property, often developed over years of research, these talks will not be recorded for later broadcast.


On Thursday, 20 January 2022 at 2pm GMT, FCC Trustee Signe Hoffos looks at the evidence for the many Lost City Churches overcome by fire, war and urban redevelopment over the centuries. Fewer were rebuilt than destroyed after the Great Fire of 1666 and WWII bombing, but even the Tudors removed churches for traffic calming, while the Victorians demolished several as the City's resident population fell. This talk complements the Lost City Churches Project (LCCP), which the Friends are supporting.
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On Monday, 14 February 2022 at 1pm, Jane Gilbert and Cressida Godfrey – the flute duet The Tooting Broads – together with pianist Norman MacSween, are delighted to present a St Valentine's Day lunchtime concert for the Friends of the City Churches at St Mary Abchurch, Abchurch Lane EC4N 7BA. The hour-long concert will include music by the flautists' flautist, Franz Doppler (1821-1873), and the Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), together with Franz Schubert (1797-1828) and Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848). We hope very much that you can join us for a romantic tango or two!
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On Wednesday, 16 February 2022 at 2pm GMT, Blue Badge Guide Rowan Freeland offers an Introduction to Heraldry. The City Churches are rich in heraldry, from the prominent Royal Coat of Arms seen in many, to the distinctive Lord Mayors' sword rests, Livery Companies' branding, stained glass windows, family monuments on the walls and even ledger stones in the floors, as well as some surprising additional touchs when you know where to look.
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On Wednesday, 9 March 2022 at 6:30pm GMT, photographer and guide Simon Gregor explores London by Night. For centuries, writers and artists have been fascinated by cities at night. In this atmospheric talk, Simon brings together photography, poetry and his personal experience of rambling by night to celebrate the London he discovered in the quieter hours of darkness.
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The Grinling Gibbons Society will present a series of live events at St Mary Abchurch to mark the tercentenary of the death of master carver Grinling Gibbons (4 April 1648 - 3 August 1721). The magnificent reredos above the communion table at St Mary Abchurch is the only authenticated work by Gibbons in the City of London parish churches. Correspondence in his own hand demonstrates that he had to press for payment once the carving was "folle Anof of work"; his spelling in these and other letters suggests that he could write both Dutch and English, and spoke with a Dutch accent.

On Friday, 30 July 2021, evensong at St Mary Abchurch commemorated the life of Grinling Gibbons, who died on 3 August 1721. The service was led by the Friends' Chaplain, the Revd David Goodburn, in the presence of the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, who gave the sermon.

Art and Ornament, an exhibition of painting and wood carving, ran at St Mary Abchurch for the first three weeks of August, and then transferred to The Dutch Church for two weeks. It was complemented by the exhibition of Gibbons' work, Centuries in the Making, at Bonham's in New Bond Street in August, and Wizardry in Wood, a selling exhibition of work by modern makers, organised by the Worshipful Company of Turners at Carpenters' Hall in October. A full year's programme of events around the country follows throughout 2022; please visit the Grinling Gibbons Society for more information on forthcoming exhibitions, lectures and concerts.

Grinling Gibbons Concerts

A series of live rush-hour concerts at St Mary Abchurch will explore the words and music of Gibbons' time. Tickets are £15 full price, or £10 concession for members of the Grinling Gibbons Society and The Friends of the City Churches); tickets must be reserved in advance by contacting, and paid in cash on the door. Each concert will last approximately one hour.

Thursday, 5 August 2021 at 6:30 pm
Violinist Krysia Osostowicz, leader of the Brodsky Quartet, will play Sonata Nº 2 in A minor and Partita Nº 2 in D minor, composed in 1720 by Johann Sebastian Bach, on an instrument made that same year.

Thursday, 28 April 2022 at 6:30 pm
Gibbons, A Musical Man, 1648-1721
ArchiCantiores perform words and music which Gibbons may have known. Readings and poems inspired by carvings include 'Linden Antiphon' and other commissioned poems by Paul Munden and Oliver Comins, alongside the works of James Shirley, Robert Johnson, John Evelyn, John Donne and Samuel Pepys. Musical settings across 350 years include catches and broadsheets, trios and quartets by Henry Purcell, Matthew Locke, George Frederick Handel, Christopher Gibbons, and Thomas Campion. Presented by ArchiCantiores’ wordsmiths and musicians Marion Wyllie (mezzo), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), Jonathan Louth (baritone) and Charles Gibbs (bass), led by Jonathan Louth, Advisor to the Legacy Project of the Grinling Gibbons Tercentenary.

On Thursday, 5 May 2022 at 6:30 pm
Songs of love, passion and devotion from the time of Grinling Gibbons
Mezzo-soprano Catherine King and harpist Frances Kelly perform music by Blow, Banister, Croft, Purcell, Geminiani and Handel.

Stained glass window


Wooden Boss