Church Street, Charleston

The French Huguenot Church

The French Huguenot Church

Never has a street been more aptly named. There was one wonderful church after another. The title photograph is of the French Huguenot Church – it is simply known as that. I noticed it particularly because it is painted a delicate pale pink with black cornichons. The Huguenot’s were French Protestants who escaped persecution from the Catholic Church. I loved the way they embraced the Protestant ethic and yet created a house of worship with a certain French soupçon of elegance. Below is the exquisitely simple interior with a startling blue chandelier, accentuated with the blue prayer books.

Nave of French Huguenot Church

Nave of French Huguenot Church

St. Philip's Church

St. Philip’s Church

Above is St Philip’s Episcopal Church which is the grandest on the street. Another tourist later told me that the church keepers weren’t very friendly (well, they are Protestants – I am sorry but there is always a lapsed Catholic devil sitting on my shoulder). There is always a fine line between visiting a historic site and respecting that it is a current house of worship. No talking, flip-flops or chewing gum, please! There were some very distinguished guests in the graveyard and it was so serene on a hot, steamy Charleston afternoon.

Well, Charles certainly has a lot to answer for...

Well, Charles certainly has a lot to answer for…

church street

Both churches were in the French Quarter. The streets were a charming mix of old and new.

St Philip's Graveyard

St Philip’s Graveyard

It was only after I left Charleston that I remembered about the Charleston Church massacre more than a year before, at the Emanuel African Methodist Church. The victims of this hate crime, their relatives and the people of Charleston give us something to aspire to in this horrific week. Dignity, sorrow and forgiveness.

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34 thoughts on “Church Street, Charleston

  1. We were in Charleston last Fall after the Church shooting. As we rode by the Emanuel African Methodist church, I thought how horrific for those people to die in a place they felt was a sanctuary. And now – how horrific for those they left behind to deal with it all. I so admire how this congregation handled and continues to handle the evil in the world and how it can invade our lives in a moment’s time. They have not faltered in their efforts to make sure this evil did not define who they were or what they believed in. Charleston and Church Street are absolutely beautiful.

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  2. Looks fascinating Kerry with an intriguing history. Those Huguenots got about. Victor himself spent time in exile in the Channel Islands, as did a few of his followers, but left no big churches like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My ex-husband’s family were Huguenots. In France of course. He was called Hugh as an act of rememberance by his Father who was the son of an East End vicar. I know that he would have loved this post (my father-in-law) and particularly your last paragraph. Indeed you are so right … in the wake of the dreadful atrocity on Sunday morning we must all proceed with dignity and decorum and try to find some forgiveness for without that we are lost and put ourselves in the same frying pan ready to jump into the furnace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Osyth. I wrote a post immediately following Orlando’s shooting when I was angry not just about the massacre but at our gun laws. I took it down following a couple of comments that made me think about not only my reaction but the country’s. The perpetrators of these actions (if sane) want a huge counter reaction. Let’s act with common sense and grace.

      Liked by 1 person

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