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.
Martin Luther King (born 1929, assassinated 1968) was an American Baptist
minister and activist who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Dr King visited St Paul's Cathedral in 1964.
Inspired by his faith he combined his radical thought with oratorical brilliance to fight discrimination. His 'I Have A Dream' speech described a
vision of racial equality that has inspired millions. Despite continual provocation, imprisonment, assault and bomb attacks on his home, he stayed
true to non-violence. He is commemorated with a national holiday in America on the third Monday of January each year.
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 in St Paul’s, Dr King gave a press conference in the Cathedral Chapter House where he answered questions on race relations in
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 1950's and 1960's 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 10th 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 peace.
Southbank School of Mosaics created a mosaic of Dr King in 2016 to commemorate the
life and work of this great advocate of Civil Rights. The mosaic will be displayed in St Paul's for Martin Luther King Day - marking the birthday
of Martin Luther King - observed on the third Monday of January, close to Dr King's birthday on January 15th.