Feed the Birds

Today at the Cathedral View More
8:00am Morning Prayer
8:30am Doors open for sightseeing
8:30am Eucharist
12:30pm Eucharist
4:00pm Last entry for sightseeing
5:00pm Choral Evensong
5:30pm Cathedral closes

Feed the Birds

The story of a no-nonsense nanny, chimney sweep, some pigeons and St Paul's

Having been an iconic part of London's skyline for more than 300 years, St Paul's has regularly found its way into popular culture and part of some great stories.

One of the most-cherished moments for many, is the use of the Cathedral's steps in the set for the iconic Feed the Birds song from the Disney film version of Mary Poppins.

Released over half a century ago in 1964, Mary Poppins has remained one of the silver screen's most enduring classics, a story of  a no-nonsense nanny, widely thought of as Walt Disney's crowning achievement. 

And right at the very heart of the movie, highlighting the merits of giving to charity, is Feed the Birds - a song which shows the Bird Woman sitting on the Cathedral steps selling crumbs for tuppence a bag.

Written by Richard and Robert Sherman, the famous tune recurs throughout the film, but features most prominently when Mary, played by Julie Andrews, sings to the Banks children about the Bird Woman.

Referring to the numerous statues atop the Cathedral, one verse is sung:

All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares
Although you can't see it, you know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares

Today, St Paul's association with Mary Poppins remains as strong as ever, and with the release of Mary Poppins Returns in December 2018, it is only fitting that the Cathedral makes an appearance in Mary Poppins and the Banks children's next adventure. 

Although visitors are now encouraged not to feed the pigeons on the steps, many come to have their photos taken in the same spot as the Bird Woman.

The Cathedral shop continues to sell a number of Feed the Birds inspired gifts.