God’s Acre

God’s acre a Moravian term for their burial ground. Fetter Lane Moravian church is set just off the King’s Road, Chelsea, London in one acre of land. One of the only green spaces open to the general public in the area,. The Moravians initially owned a much larger plot with plans for a settlement. As a missionary church this would be a staging post for missions to the Americas.

The city has built up around Moravian close, overlooked on all sides, a place were time has stood still. The walls enclose the God’s acre and a row of buildings. The smallest of which is the current chapel, originally used for the laying of the dead before burial. The congregation is small but very faithful, with the yoke of responsibility for this their peaceful sanctuary. An anomaly both in London and in this one of the most affluent areas of London.The congregation are mainly of West Indian heritage having moved in the 1960's to England. The Moravian church is strong in their homeland, being the first missionary church to preach to the slaves in 1732.

Other churches were there and did not preach to the slaves perhaps fearing their emancipation. Declaring they didn't think they had souls because they looked different.

Many pass by the gates unaware of the peaceful space that lies on the other side. Those who wander in and enjoy the space mostly unaware of its history, ethos and most of all its custodians. As they generously allow the public to enjoy the space and have cherished it for centuries [275 years].