|Previous denomination||Roman Catholicism|
|Heritage designation||Grade I listed building|
|Architect(s)||George Dance the Younger|
The present church was constructed by George Dance the Younger in 1767, replacing an earlier church built some time in the early 12th century on a bastion of the old Roman wall. It became renowned for its hermits, who lived in cells in the church. All Hallows escaped destruction in the Great Fire of London in 1666 due to its position under the wall, but subsequently fell into dereliction.
Dance rebuilt the church when he was only 24 years old. He had recently returned from Italy where he had conducted detailed studies of Classical buildings. The new All Hallows took its inspiration from the Classical world and was remarkably simple in form, with no aisles; its interior consists solely of a barrel-vaulted nave with a half-dome apse at the far end, with decoration deriving from the ancient Temple of Venus and Rome in the city of Rome. Attached Ionic columns support a frieze, rather than the usual entablature. The exterior is plain and of brick, except for the stone-faced tower above the porch at the west end.
The Church was noted for its work in offering its services to the poor; many workers, including women in domestic service, would take the early trains into the City to avoid peak fares. A demand for services and refreshment in the Parish led to the Vicar of the Church, the Reverend Sir Montague Fowler, 4th Baronet, third son of Sir John Fowler, to operate services for their benefit. This was a popular initiative (which also had tents constructed in the Churchyard to provide refreshments) which led to the construction of the buildings behind the Church which were to be used as an educational institute. This led to the Church to having one of the largest congregations in the City at a time when many City Churches were beginning to seem redundant.
All Hallows was damaged during the Second World War but was restored in the early 1960s. It is a guild church associated with the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, which has held its annual elections in the church for over 600 years. Until 1994, it was the headquarters of the Council for the Care of Churches. On 14 December 1994 the Council for the Care of Churches and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England moved out of All Hallows, leaving the church empty for two and a half years. Then in April 1997 the London and South East Team of Christian Aid were given use of the building and Garth Hewitt, the Team Leader, was appointed Guild Vicar and licensed by the Bishop of London on 18 June 1997. All Hallows went on to become the centre of a thriving community for Christian Aid and its supporters, becoming a centre for issues of Justice, Development and Peace. Under the wing of Christian Aid other organisations have been based at All Hallows, including the Community Fundraising Unit of Christian Aid, the Amos Trust (a small charity with a commitment to justice issues), The Time of Our Lives (the archbishop of Canterbury's Millennium youth event organised from the crypt of All Hallows), and Greenbelt festivals (an arts festival with a Christian viewpoint and a partner of Christian Aid).
As of 2017 the church is the headquarters of the urban youth charity XLP. The charity is focused on creating positive futures for young people in impoverished urban background areas, combating such issues as bullying and intimidation, weapons, boredom due to a lack of organised activities, absence of parents, gangs, and living in areas with high crime rate. The church is often used to host XLP events and receives an annual visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
City Gates Church, a congregation with roots in the British New Church Movement, currently holds their Sunday services in All Hallows. It is the first group to hold their Sunday services there since 1941 and builds on All Hallows’ previous traditions. City Gates Church continues the musical traditions of the Church by hosting a choir during the week and other musical events such as carols and music nights. The crypt has been used for several cell groups and is used as a kitchen for any food-related events. The congregation also expands on the global work of Christian Aid by supporting overseas workers.
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