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Which are the best church's in SF/surrounding area

Reading, England
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Which are the best church's in SF/surrounding area

I will be spending a couple of weeks next year with my parents in SF, they like to go to have a look at any old/interesting churches or cathedrials while on holiday. I remember seeing one near Washinton Square when i was ther last year are there any others around for them ? It means I can get them out of my hair for a day :)

Erie, Pennsylvania
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1. Re: Which are the best church's in SF/surrounding area

There is St. Peter and Paul in North Beach and geez, what's the name of the other one...?...on Vallejo and columbus.

They can als check out Grace cathedral, Old St. Mary's, Mission Dolores-all great stops.

For a truly San Francisco Servce, go to Glide Methodist.

Reading, England
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2. Re: Which are the best church's in SF/surrounding area

Thanks for that I appreciate it, they are interested in the arcitecture of the buildings and don't attend any services so this list will be useful. Many thanks.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Which are the best church's in SF/surrounding area

Here's a few to consider:

Grace Cathedral (1100 California St),

Swedenborgian Church in the Marina (2107 Lyon St) built in 1895

Mission Dolores in the Mission (3321 16th St)

St Ignatius (Fulton/Parker)

St Dominic's (2390 Bush St)

Old Saint Mary's (660 California Street)

They might consider a walking tour. Check this site, then click on "sacred places"

sfcityguides.org/…Anchor-SACRED-45980

Los Altos...
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4. Re: Which are the best church's in SF/surrounding area

I'll second drummerliz' suggestions

Grace Cathedral, the mainline Episcopal church of SF atop Nob Hill, should definitely be on their list. While "old" is probably a relative term for visitors from England, and the gothic style architecture may not be novel either, "interesting" should apply here.

http://www.gracecathedral.org/

If they're feeling contemplative, they can walk the labyrinths, both inside or outside:

http://www.gracecathedral.org/labyrinth/

If they're in the mood for music, Grace has a number of fall and winter concerts

If they are also interested in services, as opposed to architecture and buildings for their intrinsic appeal, Glide Memorial Church's services are, indeed, great, particularly with a multi-culti choir and quite interesting services (you'll notice, if you click through the site to their holiday fundraiser, that Glide occupies a special place -- not everyone gets Will Smith and Jada Pinkett in their corner):

http://www.glide.org/Celebrate.aspx

Continuing in the Sunday services department, your folks may be interested the Church of John Coltraine:

http://elvispelvis.com/jazzchurch.htm

Los Altos...
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5. Re: Which are the best church's in SF/surrounding area

I'll second drummerliz' suggestions

Grace Cathedral, the mainline Episcopal church of SF atop Nob Hill, should definitely be on their list. While "old" is probably a relative term for visitors from England, and the gothic style architecture may not be novel either, "interesting" should apply here.

http://www.gracecathedral.org/

If they're feeling contemplative, they can walk the labyrinths, both inside or outside:

http://www.gracecathedral.org/labyrinth/

If they're in the mood for music, Grace has a number of fall and winter concerts

If they are also interested in services, as opposed to architecture and buildings for their intrinsic appeal, Glide Memorial Church's services are, indeed, great, particularly with a multi-culti choir and quite interesting services (you'll notice, if you click through the site to their holiday fundraiser, that Glide occupies a special place -- not everyone gets Will Smith and Jada Pinkett in their corner):

http://www.glide.org/Celebrate.aspx

Continuing in the Sunday services department, your folks may be interested the Church of John Coltraine:

http://elvispelvis.com/jazzchurch.htm

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6. Re: Which are the best church's in SF/surrounding area

In terms of architectural interest, with the added plus of sending the Venerable Parents just a little further away, consider these two gems in Berkeley:

1. The Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley, which started off life as St. John's Presbyterian Church. Designed by Morgan in 1908 with a construction budget of $1.60 per square foot, it makes use of what was at the time cheap and readily available redwood panelling wrapping an interior with exposed structure and trusswork to create a Arts and Crafts benchmark. Whet the VP's appetites by pointing them to <http://berkeleyheritage.com/berkeley_landmarks/st._johns_presb.html>.

2. The First Church of Christ, Scientist, 2619 Dwight Way, Berkeley. Designed by Bernard Maybeck (one of Morgan's professors at Cal) in 1910, it's considered by many to be Maybeck's finest work and is actually listed as a national landmark. Get the VP's drool buckets topped off by sending them to: <http://www.berkeleyheritage.com/berkeley_landmarks/1christ_scientist.html>.

San Francisco
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7. Re: Which are the best church's in SF/surrounding area

Also a little farther afield--not knowing what kind of transportation they will have:

1. The Memorial Chapel on the Stanford campus. Services and other events are held there that might interest them.

terragalleria.com/california/california.stan…

2. St. Joseph's Cathedral, the oldest Catholic church in San Jose.

http://home.earthlink.net/~historicbuildings2/stjoseph.html

3. The Mormon Temple in Oakland. The temple itself is limited to Church members, but the grounds are open to the public and the visitor center has tours and programs. There are also cultural events for the public in a separate auditorium. Or just go up there for the view of the Bay & S.F.

lds.org/placestovisit/…00.html

4. And back in S.F., the historic Mission Dolores has a basilica associated with it, which is more modern but also an example of grand Spanish architecture. Both of them are active parish churches. Here is what they look like side by side.

http://missiondolores.citysearch.com/

the big blue marble
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8. Re: Which are the best church's in SF/surrounding area

Which is the Our Holy Mother of Maytag? You know, the one on the hill that looks like the insde blade of a washing machine? That one is certianly worth a trip.

San Francisco
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9. Re: Which are the best church's in SF/surrounding area

Hmmm, wonder why no one has mentioned it yet on this thread with all the other distinguished gems of ecclesiastical architecture! It is St. Mary's Cathedral (not Old St. Mary's).

"New" St. Mary's is on Geary near Gough. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of S.F. (where Archbishop William Levada presided before the current Pope called him to Rome).

Yes, it is compared to a washing machine. Not being Catholic, I don't get to hear all the inside info, but I've also heard it's supposed to symbolize a cross. And the stained glass windows portray the elements of earth, air, fire, and water.

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10. Re: Which are the best church's in SF/surrounding area

Interesting point regarding the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, the official name of "Our Lady of Maytag". Although some churches are constructed as monuments to the greater glory of whoever and my preferred choices encourage quiet reflection, the new St. Mary's makes me think of nothing more than televangelists and leveraged buyouts (hmmm, with all that concrete, maybe CeMex buying RMC....). It is, however, probably worth a look. While in the area give some consideration to:

1. The Konko-Kyo Church at 1909 Bush Street. Konko-Kyo is at least argueably (although adherents will probably beat me into a mochi-like pulp for such an inaccurate description) a modern offspring of the Japanese) Shinto religion.

2. The Buddhist Church of San Francisco at 1881 Pine Street. The flagship of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Japanese Buddhism in the US, the building itself is remarkably ugly, but contains a very impressive altar. You might also be able to ask for the opportunity to see the rooftop stupa, which contains a fragment of ashes of Shinran Shonin, the founder of the Jodo Shinshu sect.