Case Study 3: A Peace and Reconciliation Centre in London’s Financial District
This case study explores the different meanings and messages that have been built into and received from a peace and reconciliation centre erected on the site of a medieval church in the heart of the City of London. The story of the centre is a clear example of deliberate production of meaning. It is about the conversion of the ‘space’ opened up by an IRA bomb into a meaningful ‘place’, its transformation into an active centre for the promotion of peace between communities. The transformation began with the restoration of the church as a venue for traditional inter faith, inter community dialogue. A new dimension was added with the construction on the site of a Bedouin tent carefully designed to incorporate symbols of a new universal spirituality. Attention to physical aspects of the design, structure and ordering of both buildings has enabled this study to trace the shift over time of the symbolic spiritual heart of the centre from the church to the tent. This case has provided an opportunity to study the spatial dimension and implications of different approaches to interreligious relations.