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
Lifelong learning is a core part of the our work, delivered through a variety of events by St Paul's Institute, and the
Cathedral's Adult Learning and Schools & Family Learning departments.
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.
Known for his leadership of the Civil Rights Movement, by 1964 Dr Martin Luther King Jr had global renown and in December of that year was
flying form the USA to Norway to collect his Nobel Peace Prize.
On the invitation of St Paul's Canon John Collins, Dr King chose to break his journey and stop in London to preach at the Cathedral.
On the morning of 6 December 1964 he addressed a congregation of 4,000 people from the Cathedral pulpit and delivered his sermon "The
Three Dimensions of a Complete Life".
In the sermon he described the first dimension as being a life of self interest "living as though no one else existed - victimized by the acid
of egoism"; the second dimension he characterised as the outward concern with the welfare of others, "a love of humanity"; and the third
dimension was man's upward reach towards God. The sermon exhorted the congregation to be the best that they could be.
"If you can’t be a pine on the top of a hill
Be a scrub in the valley - but be
The best little scrub on the side of the hill,
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a highway just be a trail
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or fail -
Be the best of whatever you are.
And when you do this, when you do this, you’ve mastered the length of life"
Following the service, Dr King then gave a press conference in the Cathedral's Chapter House where he answered questions on race relations in the
He said: "I think it's a fact now, and everybody knows it, that there are growing racial problems in Britain as a result of the large number of
coloured persons from the West Indies, from Pakistan and India who are coming into the Country. And it is my feeling that if Britain is not
eternally vigilant and if England does not in a real sense, go all out to deal with this problem now; it can mushroom and become as serious as the
problem we face in some other Nations."
The Times reported Dr King's comments that segregated living creates festering sores of bitterness and deprivation which pollute the national
health and his belief that equal opportunity for education, training and employment must be provided without regard to class or colour if
the nation is to prosper in spirit and in truth. Migration from the fast declining British Empire in the 1950s and 1960s had led government
officials to consider the management of how migration from 'coloured territories' would be received.
In the press conference Dr King warned that immigration laws based on colour would be totally out of keeping with the laws of God.
Dr King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway on 10 December, 1964. In presenting the award, the Nobel Committee Chairman stated
that he was "the first person in the Western world to have shown us that a struggle can be waged without violence. He is the first to make the
message of brotherly love a reality in the course of his struggle, and he has brought this message to all men, to all nations and races."
Dr King accepted the award on behalf of the thousands of participants in the Civil Rights Movement, whom he described as a "mighty army of
love". King regarded the prize as a "commission" that demanded that he move beyond "national allegiances" to speak out for
Discover more about St Paul's history on your visit