Blog

The Ward: No More Secrets

The Ward: No More Secrets When I first saw Gideon Mendel’s photographs (part of The Ward exhibition) of John, Stephen, Ian and André, I thought how beautiful they are, and how brave. The pictures were taken in 1993, the same year a friend of mine died. He was an Irish artist. I wouldn’t ever have got to know him had he not had AIDS. From the time I met him, I knew and I didn’t know what would happen. He was about the same age as John, Stephen Ian and André, and, like them, if he had lived long enough...
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Barry Miles on pictures, publishing and Paul McCartney

Ahead of our Counterculture event at the end of October, author and cultural historian Barry Miles shares pages from his summer journal this year. He’s working on a new edition of In the Sixties and is selecting images, which triggers great memories. “If you can remember the 60s, then you must be Barry Miles” – The Sohemian Society ‘I have spent a lot of time recently selecting the illustrations to go with the re-issue of my In The Sixties book which is coming out at the end of September. It is being re-issued by Rocket 88, friends of mine who used to be...
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Exclusive autumn and winter wedding promotion

Are you looking for a London wedding venue that has a unique charm and individual style? One that comes within budget but doesn’t compromise on its exclusive look and feel? If so, your perfect location may just have stepped a little closer . The gorgeous Grade II* listed Fitzrovia Chapel is a baroque masterpiece hidden in a corner of central London. Exquisitely preserved and restored, we opened this January for weddings and civil partnerships and are already one of Westminster’s top three venues. For selected dates only in autumn and winter this year, we are offering a substantial price reduction...
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The past is beautiful

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” ―Virginia Woolf, Fitzrovia Resident As artistic director of an important heritage site, I often feel like a time traveller. In any one day, I can shift between learning about mosaic conservation and traditional building methods to curating cutting-edge contemporary interpretation for the chapel. My focus will also be on organisational sustainability, ensuring that long after I am gone, there will be a legacy which will...
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#GreatGayBuildings

This year marks 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised. The media is flooded with remembrances and there are many arts and cultural highlights which will mark the decriminalisation and events around it.  As ever, Channel Four observed this important milestone with a series of dynamic, relevant and inclusive programmes. I watched #GreatGayBuildings with interest. I was moved by the telling of every story, each presenter honestly and proudly stating their sexuality and the importance of a building and its occupants. I felt a pride at how far we have come and excited to live in a time of increased acceptance...
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Contemplating Community with Fitzfest 2017

Now that the curtains have been lowered on Fitzfest 2017, as director, trustee of the Fitzrovia Chapel (and long-time resident of Fitzrovia), it’s really time to take that perfect pause and reflect. What are the ties that bind this growing festival, now in its second year, to the local community? What does it add to this culturally rich area of central London? From the beginning, it was important to me to offer a programme that was not only diverse but truly reflected the legacy and artistic community of Fitzrovia. As a snapshot of this year, our June programme included: daily...
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Why is the Fitzrovia Chapel so needlessly beautiful?

The word ‘exquisite’ is used often at the Fitzrovia Chapel. I believe the reason for this is because it has a breathtaking beauty that is so surprising to us, and goes beyond what we had expected. This was an exquisite place in a working hospital. As it was never consecrated, it was a haven for all; a beautiful sanctuary for the broken, the troubled, the weary.   The importance of beauty   Since I became director in September, I have focused on the operational challenges of such an incredible building and the many processes required to set up a sustainable...
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A quick guide to the Fitzrovia Chapel

When the National Health Service sold the hospital and chapel to the developers of Fitzroy Place, Westminster Council took the opportunity for this exquisite building to be restored and repurposed as a community asset for the people of Fitzrovia. A strong team The Fitzrovia Chapel Foundation was set up at the request of Westminster Council to run the chapel and find a new role for it in the community. Right from the start the trustees wanted to ensure that the range of uses included cultural events as well as commercial activities which could ensure the building’s viability. It’s not an easy task. It costs £10,000...
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