S2: 12 - Chris LoPorto from Can't Swim

Picture the scene – you’re standing the middle of an old church. In front of you, built into the wall at the back of the room, are the remnants of ancient organ, its pipes dwarfing everything in the room as they rise almost to the ceiling. At either side of it are stained glass windows, depictions of divinity that loom over the rest of the room, echoes of an old religion. Now, it’s home to a distinctly different cult.

The pews and the altar – indeed, all the trappings of the old church – are gone save from those two features that remain. The altar has become a stage, and the pews are gone entirely. Upstairs, in the balcony, the pews remain but they’re not like they were before. They’re much more comfortable and I’m sure the owners wouldn’t mind too much if you stood on them.

Church conversions are odd things. In this instance, Saint Luke’s is now a pub, restaurant and venue. Its purpose may have changed but its religiosity is the same – we come to pay reverence and tribute.

Behind the organ and stained...

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