Holy Trinity Church, Dalston

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Holy Trinity Church, Dalston
Holy Trinity Church, Dalston in Hackney.JPG
Holy Trinity Church
51°32′39.6″N 0°4′23.3″W / 51.544333°N 0.073139°W / 51.544333; -0.073139Coordinates: 51°32′39.6″N 0°4′23.3″W / 51.544333°N 0.073139°W / 51.544333; -0.073139
LocationLondon Borough of Hackney
CountryUnited Kingdom
DenominationChurch of England
ChurchmanshipLiberal Catholic
WebsiteHoly Trinity Church website
Architect(s)Ewan Christian
Years built1879
DioceseDiocese of London

Holy Trinity Church, Dalston, also known as the Clowns’ Church is a Church of England parish church in Beechwood Road in the borough of Hackney, north London.[1] It is in the parish of Holy Trinity with St Philip Dalston and All Saints Church, Haggerston (St Philip having been bombed during the war and demolished some time between 1947 and 1952).[2]

From 1998 to 2014, the vicar was Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who also holds the roles of Speaker’s chaplain to the House of Commons, priest vicar at Westminster Abbey and chaplain to the Queen.[3][4]

History and design[edit]

Holy Trinity was designed by Ewan Christian – a noted church builder and restorer and architect of the National Portrait Gallery.[5] The main phase of construction took place in 1878-79 and was funded from the proceeds of the sale of St Martin Outwich in the City of London.[6]

It is a Grade II-listed building; its 1975 designation noted both the reputation of its architect and its impressive High Victorian style with continental influences.[6]

It is constructed in red brick in the Early English style and has a slate roof. Inside Holy Trinity is a screen brought from St Philip, Dalston after that church was damaged by bombing in December 1940. The post-war east window of the church has glass by A. F. Erridge.[6][7]

The Clowns' Church[edit]

Holy Trinity is known as the Clowns’ Church for the annual Clowns International service held on the first Sunday in February in honour of Joseph Grimaldi and deceased clowns. The service was established in 1946/7 at St James’s Episcopal Chapel in Pentonville Road, where Grimaldi is buried (now Joseph Grimaldi Park).[8] It moved to Holy Trinity in 1959 after St James's was deconsecrated.[9][10][11] The service is attended by clowns in full costume and is usually followed by a performance for members of the public.[9]

The vestry of Holy Trinity Church is home to the Clowns Gallery-Museum, which includes the Clown Egg Register.


  1. ^ "Holy Trinity, The Clowns' Church in London | Nearby hotels, shops and restaurants". LondonTown.com. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  2. ^ "Hackney - List of Churches | A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10 (pp. 122-128)". British-history.ac.uk. 1977-03-15. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  3. ^ "Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin". Churchofengland.org. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  4. ^ "Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, First Black Female Chaplain To Queen Hits Out Over Women Bishops, Gay Marriage". Huffingtonpost.co.uk. 2012-12-22. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  5. ^ David Goold. "Dictionary of Scottish Architects - DSA Architect Biography Report (January 19, 2014, 3:13 pm)". Scottisharchitects.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  6. ^ a b c Good Stuff IT Services. "Holy Trinity - Hackney - Greater London - England". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  7. ^ "Access to Archives". The National Archives. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  8. ^ "London Gardens Online". London Gardens Online. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  9. ^ a b Dangerfield, Andy (2013-02-04). "BBC News - Clowns in Joseph Grimaldi church tribute service". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  10. ^ "Home". Clowns-international.com. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  11. ^ They’re having a laugh: Grimaldi Clown Church Service (2013-02-01). "They're having a laugh: Grimaldi Clown Church Service – Now. Here. This. – Time Out London". Now-here-this.timeout.com. Retrieved 2014-01-19.

External sources[edit]