The annual Clown Service is held on the first Sunday in February every year at 3pm (worth checking exact time), in memory of the clown Joseph Grimaldi, and to honour clowns who have died. According to Wikipedia:
A famous ‘sad clown’ anecdote was first told of Grimaldi: A young man goes to see his doctor. He is overcome by a terrible sadness and doesn’t think anything will make him feel better. The doctor says, “Why not do something happy, like going to see Grimaldi the clown?”. The young man answers, with a knowing look, “Ah, but Doctor”, he says, “I am Grimaldi.”
I’ve never really felt completely comfortable around clowns. I blame it all on a trip to stay with my cousins up on their farm when I was about eight. The parents were all elsewhere – probably quietly knocking off a few bottles of wine, now that I think about it – and they left me, my three sisters and our three older boy cousins with a video. Poltergeist, to be precise (you can actually watch the clown scene here). It was the scene when the boy’s toy clown disappears from its chair and then reappears standing over his bed that did it for me, not helped a few years’ later when I read Stephen King’s IT about a clown that lives under the city drains.
But the idea of a clown’s service just down the road was hard to resist, and it’s incredibly popular, with lots of cameras, lots of kids and lots of clowns. The service is followed by a performance in the hall with cake and all the kids going feral – it was the sight of all their delighted faces, rather than the clowns, that cured me of my mild phobia. Quite a sight on a bleak Sunday afternoon in Dalston.
Holy Trinity Church
Tel: 020 7254 5062