St Paul’s Cathedral has been here for over 1,400 years. It has been built and rebuilt five times, and always its main purpose has been as a
place of worship and prayer.
St Paul's, with its world-famous dome, is an iconic feature of the London skyline. Step inside and you can enjoy the Cathedral's awe-inspiring
interior, and uncover fascinating stories about its history.
Learning & Faith
Education is a core part of the Cathedral's work, delivered through a variety of events by St Paul's Forum, St Paul's Institute and the
Schools & Families department.
History & Collections
For more than 1,400 years, a Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood at the highest point in the City. The present Cathedral is the
masterpiece of Britain's most famous architect Sir Christopher Wren.
Behind the scenes, the cost of caring for St Paul's and continuing to deliver our central ministry and work is enormous and the generosity of
our supporters is critical.
Widely considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful buildings and a powerful symbol of the splendour of London, St Paul’s Cathedral is a
breathtaking events venue.
Mark Wallinger's life-sized sculpture of Jesus Christ, hands bound behind his back and wearing a crown of barbed wire, has come to St
Paul's for Holy Week and Eastertide.
In partnership with Amnesty International and the Turner Prize winning artist, the
Ecce Homo sculpture, which was the first to appear on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square in 1999, will stand at the top of the west steps
of the Cathedral.
The collaboration seeks to highlight the plight of all those currently in prison, suffering torture or facing execution because of their
political, religious or other conscientiously-held beliefs.
The sculpture, which will remain at the Cathedral for six weeks, presents Christ as a lone man standing before a hostile crowd, as he awaits
judgement and just moments before he was sentenced to death.
Mark Wallinger, who won the Turner Prize in 2007, said: "This
vulnerable figure stands at the top of the steps outside the entrance to St Paul's Cathedral as we approach Easter to highlight the plight of
people around the world who are imprisoned and whose lives are threatened for speaking the truth, for what they believe. It is an enormous
privilege to work with St Paul’s and Amnesty International to shine a light on human rights abuses."
Kate Allen, director of Amnesty, said: "The story of Christ - arrested, tortured and executed for peacefully expressing his opinions and for
challenging the authorities of the time - still resonates around the world today. The sculpture is a strikingly vulnerable figure and is
representative of the type of cases that we at Amnesty still work on today - the oppressed individual caused to suffer simply for their
"It unapologetically celebrates human dignity which, though vulnerable, is non-negotiable and therefore needs protecting"
Commentary by the Reverend Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul's
Good art, like good religion, questions our answers more than answers our questions and with a form and language that resist cheap paraphrase or
seductive easy answers.
Wallinger's work reminds us that if we are to respect humanity then we must 're-spect', that is 'take another look' to see what we are missing
or choosing to ignore. By bringing the figure of Jesus on trial into our midst, a man undergoing trial by a braying mob, then torture and the
sentence of execution, we are also provoked into asking who we have become as people and societies - and who our victims will always be.
He urges us to have both the will and energy to imagine what it is like to have your basic freedoms taken away and to have your body and mind
scarred by those more powerful than you. It is a work that unapologetically celebrates human dignity which, though vulnerable, is non-negotiable
and therefore needs protecting.
Amnesty’s work has long been symbolised by a candle surrounded by barbed wire. In Wallinger's statue, Jesus - who for Christians is the ray of
light undimmed by darkness - wears, instead of thorns, a crown of barbed wire.
The title of the work 'Ecce Homo' comes from the story of Jesus's trial and means 'Behold the man!' When we choose not to behold a person
and see them as just like ourselves, but instead choose to look away in indifference or prejudice, dangerous shadows quickly fall over all of us.
At the same trial of Jesus according to St John’s gospel, Pontius Pilate asks Jesus 'What is truth?' It is a pertinent question for our own
times and, in respect of those who suffer for their conscience or their identity, one which this work won't allow us to ignore.