The Hyde Park building, in the heart of London, will be a beacon of light, hope and truth for people from all over the world. That was the powerful message during rededication services for the British capital’s most prominent Latter-day Saint meetinghouse.
“My hope is that literally hundreds of thousands of people over the years will come into the building to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Elder Erich W Kopischke, President of the Church’s Europe Area, at the service.
Located in one of the UK’s most popular tourist areas, the Hyde Park building houses a new, interactive Visitors’ Centre on the ground floor, including a display with personal stories from the I’m a Mormon campaign.
Visitors, as well as passersby, are greeted with a new addition to the building –Thorvaldsen’s Christus, the magnificent marble statue of Jesus Christ. This powerful depiction of the Saviour is intended to play a pivotal role in inviting people into the new Visitors’ Centre.
Built on a site that had remained empty since being bombed in World War II, the Church bought the land for the Hyde Park building when not a single member lived within a seven-mile radius.
More than half a century following its initial construction, the chapel is now centre for 2,000 members from 115 countries.
Since its establishment, the Hyde Park Chapel has played an important role in the lives of church members within the UK and abroad.
Elder Clifford T. Herbertson, a senior leader in the Church, sees a promising future for the Church in London: “There are a growing number of members of the Church in London actively involved in government (national and local), the voluntary sector, entertainment and the arts. Using their time and talents in such a way is something that touches and blesses the lives of many.”
Photographs taken by Simon Jones