Respair

Location: St John's Churchard

St John’s Waterloo

Waterloo Road

London SE1 8TY


Exhibition open: Wed 19 May - Sun 6 June


Times: Daily 10am-8pm

Chris Clarke, "Respair"


An installation project organised by local artists Chris Clarke, Joao Simoes-Brown and poet Kate Miller following a call for postcards of 'Respair'.


You can view a selection of the postcards here.


The story behind the project

St John’s Waterloo has been a London landmark since it was built in 1824 to cater for the rapidly growing population of London. It was restored after wartime bomb damage to become the official church of the Festival of Britain in 1951 and now, in 2021, we are about to undergo a major restoration so that our historic building can fully serve the communities around us for generations to come.


Before closing in July for building work to begin, we’re hosting the annual Waterloo Festival and this year our theme is “Respair”, an old English word meaning the return of hope after a period of despair. We like to think that St John’s has been a beacon of hope since its rebirth in 1951 and will shine even more brightly when we reopen in 2022. But we’re aware that many other churches in this country and around the world have also brought new hope to their communities with new projects - whether in stone or in words and deeds.


Over April, we asked people to send us a postcard of a church that has brought new hope to their community, or one that inspires them. These make up the installation in the churchyard of St John's.


The artists

You can read more about Chris Clarke here, Joao Simoes-Brown here, and Kate Miller here.