God & Markets

There is a long tradition of attending prayers — in church, mosque, synagogue or temple — and then shopping at a market. Listening to sermons and singing hymns can cause hunger and thirst and, accordingly, markets often are situated close to religious buildings, better to catch worshippers as they emerge.

There may be a financial relationship between religious institution and market. The fabulous Rüstem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul (built c. 1563 for the son-in-law of Suleiman the Magnificent) was constructed over a complex of vaulted market units, whose rents were intended to support the mosque financially. Scroll forward five hundred years and rents from stallholders at Piccadilly Market help support St James’s Church Piccadilly.

A market may also attract worshippers into church or temple. The hustle, bustle and worldly commercial activity of a market can be replaced, just a few seconds walk away, with the contemplative, non-commercial, atmosphere of mosque or church.

Thousands of markets around the world exist cheek by jowl with religious institutions. Piccadilly Market at St James’s Church Piccadilly is proud to be part of that tradition.

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Market outside Rüstem Pasha Mosque (Istanbul)

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Shoe market outside Rüstem Pasha Mosque (Istanbul)

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Piccadilly Market outside St James’s Church Piccadilly (London)

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