St Bride's: INSPIRE! Appeal - Annual Wren Talk

Updated 07/08/20: St Bride's Church is open for general visiting and prayer; however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, our Sunday choral services and lunchtime recitals remain online. NB: From 8th August face coverings in places of worship are a legal requirement. Further Information →

St Bride's: INSPIRE! Appeal

Annual Wren Talk

wren.jpgAs part of the on-going legacy to refurbish and enhance the services provided by St Bride's, not only to the congregation and local business community, but to the passing visitor too, the INSPIRE! Appeal working group suggested an annual Wren Talk, not just to celebrate Wren's many achievements but to also fill a gaping hole in the cultural calendar.
 
While the focus has been, not surprisingly, on Wren's work as an architect and his many church spires, which still provide the vital glue to the City's skyline, Wren had many other interests including astronomy, mathematics and physics and had an inventive mind, helping to perfect the barometer; he also helped to establish the Royal Society. It is intended to explore some of these other facets of Wren's character in future talks, as well as expanding the content of the talks to discuss current day issues, such as transport, infrastructure and the management of the City urban landscape that effects our lives, work and play in the sprawling City of London and its environs.

The 2019 talk took place on Wednesday 30th October and was given by Eric Parry RA.


2019 - Eric Parry RA

We were delighted that Royal Academician and renowned architect Eric Parry agreed to give our Wren Talk in 2019 on the theme "From Spires to Towers - the Politics of the Skyline."

Eric Parry Architects' 73-storey tower development at 1 Undershaft ('The Trellis'), will be the tallest building in the City of London when completed. However, Parry is also renowned for cultural projects including restoration and reworking of St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square and the highly acclaimed Holburne Museum extension in Bath. He serves on the Council of the Royal Academy and the Fabric Advisory Committee of Canterbury Cathedral.

Paul Finch, Director of the World Architecture Festival, introduced the event and chaired the audience Q&A session.


2013 - Ken Shuttleworth

Wren Talk 2013

Ken Shuttleworth

Ken Shuttleworth, founder of Make, delivered the second Wren Talk, when he considered how Wren might view the City if he were alive today; Shuttleworth, who is particularly known for working in and around the City of London, (he is the architect behind the Gherkin and City Hall), commented: "Wren would largely be impressed with the City skyline".


2012 - Sir Terry Farrell: from Wrenaissance to Wregeneration

Wren Talk 2012

Sir Terry Farrell: from Wrenaissance to Wregeneration

The inaugural talk was delivered by leading architect and urbanist Sir Terry Farrell as part of the 2012 London Festival of Architecture. Farrell spoke to a packed St Bride's of Sir Christopher Wren's masterplan for London after the Great Fire - which, of course, was never implemented - as well as his plans for various parts of the capital.

Farrell presented his view that London is a better city for its lack of a 'grand plan' such as that seen in Paris, and Wren's subsequent contribution to the city, the 56 churches and many other buildings is unsurpassed. In his view the best projects going ahead are those that celebrate rather than reinvent what we already have - a message that chimes perfectly with our campaign to save St Bride's, one of Wren's smaller churches but considered his cathedral in Fleet Street.