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GES259 - Rivercourt Methodist Church, London

Sitting in the borough of Hammersmith, the Rivercourt Methodist Church sits on my daily commute to work. Reaching up to the heavens, it would provide a good view, as this is what churches are best for in my experience. Imagine my joy as the scaffold was removed from the church in Turnham Green, it was put up around the Rivercourt!

Built in 1874-75, the church replaced a smaller nearby Methodist hall. It was built in the Gothic style, with a 38m spire and seating for 1000 people. As Christian worship attendance continues to fall in the UK, it's numbers have dwindled. Nowadays it functions as a venue for meetings and for the unfit and flabby, Zumba classes. I'm not sure why Gothic was a keen style for churches. My memories of being forced to go to church as a kid were of bleak barren cold buildings, with an air of gloom. Not really a place you want to go to be happy and celebrate your chosen God.

Churches usually come with low level security, so I opted to boldly climb up before sunset. No one batted an eyelid as I ascended the many swtichbacks to the top. Once there I was able to see out across the borough. Sadly the church was no longer the tallest building in the area, and other buildings obscured the panorama. This is looking East down King St, Hammersmith's main shopping street.

Looking South, Hammersmith Bridge dominates the centre, and Hammersmith & Fulham Borough Hall in the foreground with the flags of the UK.

Out west, the buildings sprouting up and being rennovated along the 'Golden Mile' of the A4 leaving London. In the middle distance the previously climbed West Quarter Tower is now complete. Just in front and to the side of it can be seen the  spire of Turnham Green church previously mentioned above. Hammersmith Travelodge forms a border on the right. It's something i've considered trying to rooftop, but always lacked willpower/experience.

The apex of the bend in the Thames at Hammersmith Mall. Barnes sits over the river and amongst the trees the Private School of St. Pauls. Founded in 1509 on 43 acres of land. Member of the brilliant Beyond the Fringe group, Dr. Jonathan Miller, Media biologist Lord Winston, uber-journalist John Simpson, Sam Houser of Rockstar Games fame, and some dude called George Osborne (whatever happened to him?) all went here. For a mere £21k a year, so can your child!

The purpose of climbing up in daylight, was to witness the sun setting in the West, always a magical moment with a beer in your hand and some good tunes playing from your phone.

Touching the top of the spire. Probably consdidered immature, but it's quite (I stress quite) cool to go past in the days, weeks and years that follow, to think that you touched something so normally unaccessible.

The day expires over Notting Hill in the distance. The BT tower looking like a lighthouse right of centre. I'd so love to go up there, I think it's my grail of London. Westfields shopping centre sits on the left horizon, and blocks of flats behind. The block of flats were also climbed in the past. There can't be many buildings in West London I haven't climbed.

Down below, trains rattle through Stamford Brook station. Piccadilly line trains rush through the centre tracks without stopping, while District Line trains grind to a halt to stop here.

A slight chill passed around as night dropped down. Two police cars with flashing lights pulled up below and I thought I'd been rumbled, but it turned out not to be the case. Light trails down King St.

A night time version of the shot further up, the red lights of cranes at the Fulham Reach development on the left. The diagonal blue lights up an apartment block towards the right on the horizon are the home of a number of footballers, and it sits on the Putney side of Putney bridge. A bridge built by the esteemed Sir Joseph Bazelgette.

Getting cold, and an empty feeling in my stomach, it was time to descend and head off. I dropped down and bumped into a church warden walking his dog. "erm, just getting my ball back, seeya!"


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