Between 2012 and 2019 Francis Meslet photographed several hundred places of worship across Europe. Over time, these places have became enveloped in silence, the only thing heard there now an occasional gust of wind whistling though broken stained glass, or the rhythmic drip of water leaking through the dilapidated roof above a nave. Nevertheless, these muted places still draw an occasional visitor. Once upon a time, prayers could be heard recited in Latin in a German church; and in a French Catholic college, the voices of children once resounded to the sound of the bells. But who can imagine what sounds might be concealed behind the walls of a crypt in the heart of the Italian mountains, or within a tomb in a former convent in Portugal? In his spare time Francis travels the world in search of places that have fallen into disuse - religious buildings where time has stood still since their doors were closed for the last time. He returns with incredible photographs, each a time capsule, a record of a parallel universe. They prompt us to let our imaginations wander and ask ourselves questions. With the greatest respect for the faithful who regularly visited them long ago, he offers us an opportunity to immerse ourselves in places that have been abandoned by faith, to seek a divine light.
« Francis Meslet’s book is an unparalleled testimony to these places. He brings us rare and touching images of our history, our beliefs, our hopes, and our fears. This is an invitation to dream. Each photograph is not only an image in time, every single picture is a guide book, to which we hold the keys deep within us. It is up to us to turn the pages and let ourselves be led by our imagination on a journey through the centuries, while soaking up the poetry and simple beauty of these places roused from their great slumber.. »