The impossible city

David Spero lives in London. He has exhibited recently at Photo Espana and the Photographers Gallery in London. His book Churches is published by Steidl.

www.steidlville.com

Churches

Celestial Church of Christ and Prevailing Word Ministries, Dalston, 2002

The wide selection of church buildings photographed by David Spero for his forthcoming book were never intended for their current use. This random collection of architectural structures has come about as the result of numerous acts of faith.

The churches reflect a diverse range of denominations and sects that form what is often referred to as the "charismatic evangelical movement". Architecturally they display an almost protestant ascetism quite in keeping with a spiritualist church movement reacting against secular rationalism and consumerism. In these churches the holy spirit pervades, faith is intrinsic and god is personally experienced.

They feature none of the monumental architecture or symbols of status and power of the historically dominant denominations. Often temporary, semi-permanent or unconsecrated, they are sometimes anonymous and almost invisible. Spero's work acknowledges that the divine may exist in the most unlikely places.

United Church of the Kingdom of God, Finsbury Park, 2003

Alive Chapel International, Green Lanes, 2003

Cliwom Sanctuary of Praise, Bermondsey, 2004

Mt Zion Spiritual Baptist Church, Kensal Green, 2003

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