15 August 2008

St Paul's

When I see a spire in the distance, I head straight for it. In Munich, that means constant changes of direction for it seems that wherever I look I see another spire. Yesterday, while wandering around near the main railway station I spotted a very impressive looking example. Fifteen minutes later I arrived in St-Pauls-Platz admiring the imposing edifice of the neo-gothic parish church of St Paul.

I had always assumed that Bavarian Catholicism was among the more conservative expressions of that tradition, and perhaps beyond Munich that remains the case. In the city, though, the churches I have visited constantly throw up surprises.

First there was Jesus in a box at Maximilianskirche. More recently I visited St Anna's in Lehel. From the noticeboards I learned that the church offered classes in 'meditative dance' and had hosted the two pastors of Lukaskirche, the main Lutheran church in the city, one of whom is a woman. St Paul's itself has a gospel choir, 'Spirit of Saint Paul', led by the church organist, with a wide ranging repertoire of music I would not normally have associated with a conservative Catholic tradition.

The choir have a concert scheduled in the church in November and - if I can remember - I'll be there. I don't think I'm quite ready for 'meditative dance' though.

You can find out more about St Paul's on the church's website and the choir's website (both in German only). There are also a couple of sample tracks from the choir's repertoire here and here.

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