Lawyer Peter Dodge has discovered that Queen Anne gave Royal Assent to the famous Act for Building Fifty New Churches on 12 June 1711.
This year is the tercentenary of the Act which maybe did not provide fifty churches but we do have twelve gems including St George’s Bloomsbury and St Paul’s Deptford.
The actual anniversary is Pentecost, Whit Sunday 12 June, and Peter Dodge has organised what he calls “London’s first Pop-Up Baroque Church Crawl”.
There is no organisation and, he stresses, no “Hi Vis vests” but he has produced a book suggesting how one can walk between the twelve churches on the day using only roads which existed in the 18th century.
The 1711 Walk website has on its front page at present some lovely photographs of the magnolias outside St Mary-le-Strand and its interior.
Those who like the idea of the walk will also enjoy a new book called The Eighteenth-century Church in Britain by Terry Friedman (Yale £60). It’s far too heavy to carry around but has many little seen drawings of existing and proposed churches. The text is fascinating and there is a vital index.