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.
Whilst often seen as a place of great celebration, St Paul's is also known as a location for national mourning and remembrance.
In recent times, crowds have flocked to the Cathedral in the wake of terrorist acts in America (2001) and London (2005). Going back a century, the
victims of the Titanic (1912) were remembered at
St Paul's, as were Captain Scott and his team
(1913), who perished in the Antarctic.
And it was in that period, as the Great War of 1914-1918 was raging across Europe, that the most famous female casualty of the war was remembered
at St Paul's.
On 29 October 1915, hundreds of nurses and other mourners packed St Paul's to remember nurse Edith Cavell, executed by German forces after being
found guilty of treason.
Cavell had been working for the Red Cross in Belgium, treating soldiers from both sides without distinction. Holding strong Anglican beliefs,
Cavell went about smuggling hundreds of British soldiers out of German-controlled Belgium into the neutral Netherlands, an act for which she was
arrested and tried.
Despite widespread international outcry, Cavell was executed by firing squad on 12 October 1915, aged 49.
The British people were shocked at what was seen as an act of great barbarism and it is thought that recruitment into the Army had doubled within
two months of her death.
With a nation in mourning for a 'martyred' nurse, an act of remembrance was arranged for St Paul's. On the day of the service, huge crowds gathered
to get inside the Cathedral. One newspaper reported: "Countless people were turned away, and fifteen minutes after the doors were opened notices
that the church was full were posted."
The service was based on readings, prayers and hymns, including Abide with Me, the words to which were reputedly recited by Cavell before her
It would be another four years before Cavell's body was brought back to England. She received a funeral service at Westminster Abbey before being
interred in Norwich Cathedral, close to her family home.
Today, Edith Cavell's legacy lives on. She is memorialised in many parts of the UK as well as around the world, as far afield as the USA and
Australia. Numerous streets, schools and hospital wards also bear her name the world over.
Within the Church of England, 12 October is set as a day to remember Edith Cavell.