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.
Created by Bill Viola and Kira Perov and opened in May 2014, Martyrs shows four individuals,
across four colour vertical plasma screens, being martyred by the four classical elements. The work has no sound. It lasts for seven minutes.
Martyrs was joined in 2016 by a second piece entitled Mary. The installations have been gifted to Tate, and are on long-term loan to St Paul’s
Bill Viola's commission for St Paul’s Cathedral follows the great historical tradition of commissions for spiritual centres that has
resulted in a priceless heritage of art around the world.
The result of this commission sees St Paul’s Cathedral, which has always spearheaded the engagement of great artists, house a resonant
work of art for our times. Martyrs(and later Mary), will play an important role in connecting contemporary issues with the timeless themes
embodied in the cathedral.
Through the relationship between St Paul’s and Tate Modern, visitors to both sites will become aware of the possibilities available on
either site and it is hoped that this will lead to new audiences for both. With the symbolic link of the Millennium Bridge, two great
institutions will be connected through art.
Bill Viola says:
As the work opens, four individuals are shown in stasis, a pause from their suffering. Gradually there is movement in each scene as an
element of nature begins to disturb their stillness. Flames rain down, winds begin to lash, water cascades, and earth flies up. As the
elements rage, each martyr’s resolve remains unchanged. In their most violent assault, the elements represent the darkest hour of the
martyr’s passage through death into the light.