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Johan Richter (1665–1745), The Votive Bridge for the Feast of Santa Maria della Salute. Detail shows a group of girls from the Pieta coming home from a church service.

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In the U.S., everyone thinks St. Martin-in-the-Fields is an orchestra. In the United Kingdom, everyone thinks it’s a homeless shelter. The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields is over 50 years old and St. Martin’s today, with 350 concerts a year, offers the fullest concert program in the U.K. Meanwhile the Connection at St. Martin-in-the-Fields is the busiest homeless day center in the country. Underneath, in the crypt, the church runs a thriving café and shop. The church’s commercial operations have made it a substantial employer and centre of hospitality.

What do these three parts of the church’s life have in common, and how do they embody the congregation’s vision?

 

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