A Guide to London’s Diverse Approach to Religion

A Guide to London’s Diverse Approach to Religion

When you visit London, you cannot escape the influence of different cultures, from the street food vans which line the banks of the river Thames to the communities who call London’s different boroughs home. Religion is just one area of life in London which benefits from incredible diversity, with individuals and communities from all walks of life invited to worship and pray across a series of religious buildings throughout the city.

In this blog, we’re taking you on a religious tour of London, looking at how the many hotels in Kensington and beyond share the city streets with religious buildings from all denominations and beliefs.

The famous churches in London

The beauty of some of London’s most famous churches is that not only do they present a place for people to celebrate their beliefs, but they also unite the incredible architecture with their significant history – with some of the churches listed in this blog playing an important role in London’s own story.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous churches not just in London but in all of Europe, as a place where weddings, coronations, christenings, and funerals have taken place throughout British royal history. As one of the most important churches in UK history, Westminster Abbey boasts a prominent location overlooking the Houses of Parliament and is easily accessible from the Park Grand Kensington accommodation on foot or via tube towards Westminster station.

Perhaps most importantly of all, Westminster Abbey combines its significant as a tourist attraction with the fact that it is still very much an active church for those practising Christianity, which means that any and all visits need to be checked online to ensure your visit does not clash with some kind of ceremony.

St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral

Another religious site which is as much a part of tourist London as it is a prominent feature in London’s religious guide, St Paul’s Cathedral boasts the iconic domed roof which can be seen across fridge magnets and postcards as one of the focal points of the city skyline.

As a place of worship and somewhere that religious people from all over the world seek to visit as part of their pilgrimage, this cathedral was designed and created by none other than Christopher Wren and combines its importance in religious circles with incredible architecture which allows all who visit to revel in its grandeur and beauty.

St Brides

The final Christian church on our list is St Brides, which is located n Fleet Street and was actually destroyed in a fire during the Blitz – meaning it had to be rebuilt in the 1940s. However, the restoration remains true to the original design which again came from Christopher Wren and was constructed in 1672 as the second tallest church in London.

Despite not being as popular or as prominent when compared with the aforementioned religious sites in London, St Brides is one of those churches which is so ornate in its design that is perfectly juxtaposes its surrounding buildings and the modern architecture which frames it on all sides.

The famous mosques in London

In a celebration of true diversity, London is home to just as many mosques as churches – with over 400 mosques of varying sizes to be found across the footprint of London. While this blog introduces just a small handful of the most prominent and those worth visiting, for those staying in one of the central London hotels near Earls Court, we recommend spending a morning or afternoon wandering the surrounding streets and looking out for the many and varied influences that have come from overseas and foreign communities across London.

London Central Mosque

London Central Mosque

The first and most recognisable mosque on our list is the London Central Mosque, which is located towards the north west of Regent’s Park and bridges the areas of the parkland the St John’s Wood beyond. With space for 5000 worshippers and a vast balcony for the women, this mosque was designed and finished in 1978 and boasts an impressive golden dome – plus it has a bookshop and a bistro inside to support and offer a welcome to the vast community of Muslims in this part of London.

Shah Jahan Mosque

This mosque may be a little outside of central London, in Woking to be specific, but its structure and architecture makes it well worth a place on this list – not least because it was the first purpose-built mosque in England and is designed to replicate the kind of structure that might be found in central Asia rather than the English countryside.

Burdett Estate Mosque

At the other end of the scale, the Burdett Estate mosque in east London presents the kind of aesthetic which might have you mistaking the mosque for an office block or modern block of flats – owing largely to the tall glass structure which sits in one corner and makes the entire structure appear light and bright. Serving the east London community and designated as one of the best kept secrets in London, this mosque is vast in size and compliments the surrounding area with ease.

All in all, diversity is a common theme that can be seen across and throughout the London experience – from the religious buildings that you can visit, to the cuisine which is served and the communities you can see from your hotel near Gloucester Road. Whether you consider yourself to be religious or not, visiting one of these churches or mosques guarantees you an experience in the incredibly open community of London, as well as access to some of the most impressive structures and architectural details that you can find in the city.

Next time you head to London, take the time to consider how you can celebrate diversity with a range of experiences and tours – with a few local delicacies and international foodie treats available across the city to round out your day and give you the full round-the-world experience.