8.5.12

Fools for Christ



As London seems to have become quite the hotspot this year, 
I have been receiving far more emails enquiring about London's
lesser sought side. I hope that my series of London posts continue 
to inspire a more offbeat exploration of this great city.


Whilst meandering through Dalston, I came across a curious 
sign:



How could I NOT venture down this path?



At first glance, it looks like an ordinary church.



But then, I met Ian who is also Gingernutt the clown.
But today he was my guide through the deceptively  simple 
collection of bits and bobs that still remain in the church 
as most of the collection is now housed in the clown museum 
in Wookey Hole.




I learned about Joseph Grimaldi, born in 1778 and 
regarded as the father of the modern day white face clown.




I learned that it is bad clown etiquette to copy another 
clown's face and so clown faces are registered by painting 
a representation upon an egg. One egg for the museum and 
one for the clown. Today porcelain eggs are used but 
traditionally real eggs were the canvasses for the register. 



I learned some unexpected stories behind so many painted 
faces.



Some very touching. The fact that their profession involves 
making others laugh makes the tales all the more poignant and 
I left with a new understanding and respect for the clown.


Once a year the Holy Trinity Church hosts an international clown mass 
in memory of Grimaldi. Many many clowns arrive from across the globe 
and I hope to make it to the next one.


The church is open to the public on the 1st Friday of each month with 
2/3 clowns in normal attire that curate the little exhibition. 
If you are of a curious disposition (and not inflicted with Coulrophobia) 
I would highly recommend this if you have an hour to spare. 


Holy Trinity Church
Beechwood Road
E8 3DY
London Beechwood Road
Beechwood Road

23 comments:

  1. what a truly lovely hidden treasure, really interesting to learn a bit more about the subject. i can't say i'm a massive fan of clowns but to hear about more about their traditions makes it more interesting to me for sure

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    1. I was never a hug fan of clowns but the more I learn, the more I am intrigued. Thanks for reading.

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  2. This is............actually so interesting!!!

    I completely didn't see that clown's church part on the sign and would have walked straight past it! I didnt know about clown etiquette and the faces! How very very very curious!

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    1. It is isnt it! I was like....WOW!!!!

      Thank you for reading Jian x

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  3. Unfortunately I'm one of those people who has got coulrophobia, but how interesting! The weirdest little places you find sometimes when you're not even looking...

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    1. Oh dear! I hope this didnt bother you too much. I do like stumbling into weird little places. That sounds so odd!

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  4. What a great find! Yes, indeed how could one resist exploring such a place. The Clown Mass sounds amazing. Please do make it to the next one! would love to see the pics.

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    1. I will do my best! I want to sit in the middle of all the clowns.

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  5. At first I thought Church for Clowns ... got my attention. I've always said you find those parts of London no-one sees, I love that.

    -btw adore your new header - just ADORE it.

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  6. wow, an amazing adress & the concept to mix religion with the clownesque reminds me of a book I had to read once (Angela Carter: Night at the Circus). The stance on clowns wasn't so positive as one quote goes like “The child's laughter is pure until he first laughs at a clown.”

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    1. My dear lady,

      I am going to pruchase this book. The quote is pure wonderful. Thank you x

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  7. How interesting! I especially found the egg registry fascinating. It would be so fun to look through the ovarchive (heh). But I also know many people who would find this place utterly terrifying LOL

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  8. my goodness this is such an odd and interesting place! a tad creepy since clowns semi-creep me out lol

    thank you for sharing these less known places around London!! i will definitely make note for when i have a chance to spend more time to explore London =]

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    1. Thank you for looking! I am trying to write a bit more about these curious places that I find. Your support is massive.

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  9. Oh this looks wonderful! I do miss that about London, walking around and stumbling into places.

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  10. This is brilliant! First, because I though it was about a church with a big sense of humor. But really, because I didn't know all these stories about Grimaldi and patented clown faces. Very fascinating.

    www.thefoolishaesthete.blogspot.com

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  11. What a great find... although I'd prefer it without the clowns, I just find them so creepy.
    Maybe we could get together for the 'MyFavouritePlace' series on my blog??? xo

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    1. How brilliant! I would love to participate in that. Does it matter that my favourite place seems to shift with the seasons?

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  12. Wow this is really interesting! I never knew such a place would exist. Clown mass sounds kinda fun lol

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  13. What a contradiction..a clown gallery in a church?!?! Great find.

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  14. I'm not a fan of clowns mainly due to the depiction of them in horror movies. But I would love to visit this church next time I'm in London :)

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