|Today||Wednesday 12 Mar 2014|
|08:30||Doors open for sightseeing|
|16:00||Last entry for sightseeing|
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The Chapels at St Paul's offer a place for reflection, prayer and smaller services. On the cathedral floor you will find the Chapel of All Souls, Chapel of St Dunstan, Chapel of St Michael & St George, the Middlesex Chapel and the American Memorial Chapel. In the crypt you will find the Knights Bachelor Chapel and the OBE Chapel.
All Souls' Chapel: the Kitchener Memorial
Situated on the ground floor of the north-west tower, this chapel was dedicated in 1925 to the memory of Field Marshal Lord Kitchener and the servicemen who died in the First World War. Kitchener died at sea and his body was never recovered. He is best known for his restructuring of the British army during the First World War and for the most effective recruitment campaign in British military history, using the slogan 'Your Country Needs You'.
Among the chapel's artefacts are sculptures of the military saints St Michael and St George, a beautiful pietá - a sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the body of Christ - and an effigy of Lord Kitchener. The silver-plated candlesticks on the altar are made from melted-down trophies won by the London Rifle Brigade.
St Dunstan's Chapel
This chapel was consecrated in 1699, was the second part of Wren's building to come into use, after the Quire. In 1905, it was dedicated to St Dunstan, a Bishop of London who became of Archbishop of Canterbury in 959. Before this it was known as the Morning Chapel, because the early morning service of Mattins was conducted here.
The Chapel of St Dunstan is set aside for prayer. You can light a candle here, or you can leave the names of those you wish to remember in prayer during one of the cathedral's services. Visitors do not have to pay to enter this chapel.
The Chapel of St Michael and St George
This chapel is located on the south aisle on the cathedral floor. The chapel was originally the consistory court in which cases of ecclesiastical law were heard. Renamed in 1906 and dedicated to St Michael and St George, it is the spiritual home of the Order of St Michael and St George, founded in 1818 to honour people who have rendered important service overseas.
Among the chapel stalls are banners of current knights and officers of the Order, including HM The Queen, who visits periodically for the Order's ceremonial service.
The Chapel of St Erkenwald and St Ethelburga: The Middlesex Chapel
This chapel is home to members of the Middlesex Regiment. The flags in the chapel are the colour of the Middlesex Regiment - the empty pole belongs to a flag that was lost during World War II. Behind the altar stands William Holman Hunt’s Light of the World
The American Memorial Chapel
At the east end of the Cathedral behind the High Altar is the American Memorial Chapel. The Chapel is also known as the Jesus Chapel, as the space was known prior to World War II.
This part of the building was destroyed during the Blitz and as part of the post-war restoration it was decided that the people of Britain should commemorate the 28,000 Americans who were killed on their way to, or stationed in, the UK during the Second World War. Their names are recorded in the 500-page roll of honour encased behind the high altar. This was presented by General Eisenhower in 1951 and a page of the book is turned every day.
The American Chapel was designed by Stephen Dykes Bower and constructed by Godfrey Allen, Surveyor to the Fabric 1931-1956. The images that adorn its wood, metalwork and stained glass include depictions of the flora and fauna of North America and references to historical events.The three chapel windows date from 1960. They feature themes of service and sacrifice, while the insignia around the edges represent the American states and the US armed forces. The limewood panelling incorporates a rocket - a tribute to America's achievements in space.
The Knights Bachelor Chapel
The Chapel of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor is also known as St Martin's Chapel.
The Chapel was dedicated by HM the Queen in 2008. The Dean and Chapter of St Paul's had offered the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor the use in perpetuity of an area which, although a chapel in the 1930s, had been disused for many years and was closed off from the main space of the Crypt.
The Chapel is panelled with English oak and in it, in two elegant cases, are kept the Registers which contain the names of all Knights Bachelor from 1257 to date and also the Founder Knights' and Benefactors' Book. Near them is displayed Queen Victoria's sword with which she knighted many famous men; this is on loan from Wilkinson Sword Ltd. The stalls of the Officers bear heraldic stall-plates. The cross and candlesticks were made by Mr Gerald Gilbert, and many other fine craftsmen from Houghtons of York have worked to make the Chapel noble and traditional in design.
The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor
Knighthood is the oldest non-Royal title of honour; the first knights probably received their accolade late in the tenth century. The dignity of Knight Bachelor appeared in the reign of Henry III and almost certainly derived from the Norman French word battelier, a battle knight. The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor was founded in 1908 and was given the title of 'Imperial' by Royal Warrant of George V in 1912.
The OBE Chapel
At the east end of the Crypt is the OBE Chapel (Chapel of the Order of the British Empire), also known as St Faith’s Chapel.
The original St Faith's was a parish church attached to the old cathedral destroyed in the Great Fire of London. During the rebuilding of St Paul's, this chapel was dedicated to St Faith close to the foundations of the former church and offered parishioners their own place of worship in the building.
In 1960 this chapel became the spiritual home to the Order of the British Empire. The Order of the British Empire was instituted by King George V in 1917 initially to recognise the considerable civilian contribution to the war effort during the 1914-18 war. It was a pioneering honour in its day, being the first five-class Order for national distribution and the first to admit women to membership. Until then no woman had been eligible for an award, although an exception was made for Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern British nursing. The OBE was separated into military and civil divisions in 1918. Today, award-holders of the OBE and members of their family may be married and baptised in the chapel.