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.
The Crucified Christ
Designed by George Frederick Bodley and Thomas Garner
Carved for Farmer and Brindley Ltd. by E Guillemin
This beautifully sculpted figure of Christ once formed the centrepiece of an elaborate reredos (a decorated screen) which stood behind the
Cathedral high altar. The treatment of the figure shows Christ in idealised human form bearing His sacrifice, the culmination of His
suffering. An account of The Crucifixion of Christ can be found in all four of the Gospels. St Luke records the prayer Christ offered
from the cross for His persecutors and the last utterance of all, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit".
The full crucifixion scene on the reredos depicted a Calvary group – Christ on the cross surrounded by mourning angels and a gathering of five
figures at the foot of the cross: The Three Marys; St John and a Roman soldier, Stephaton, who leant on his spear. The magnificent commission
was undertaken as part of the reinvigoration of the Cathedral decoration undertaken by the then Dean of St Paul’s, Robert Gregory, which
proved to be a controversial enterprise from start to finish.
George Ferederick Bodley was first invited to submit designs in 1883. The central architectural element of his proposal housed the Calvary group;
spiral columns supported a triangular pediment and whole ensemble was topped off with the figures of the Virgin and Child and the Risen Christ. It
was made of marbles in many colours and the lower register housed gilded relief sculptures of biblical scenes. Later in the design two side
wings were added to curl around and fill the whole of the east end of the quire. Two bronze doors led through the screen to what became The Jesus
The completed rerdos was dedicated on St Paul’s Day, 29 June, 1888. While it had been heralded as "the most important work of the kind ever
erected in England in the Italian style" and the Cathedral Chapter considered it a fitting focus for contemplation the introduction of the
screen was not universally welcomed and it became a point of contention between different strands of Anglicanism.
The future of the screen was decided on the evening of 10 December 1940 when a bomb penetrated the roof of the quire and although it failed to
explode it caused significant damage to the screen and high altar. Several of the pieces were salvaged and remain in the Cathedral
Collection. This figure of The Crucified Christ is the most significant, symbolising the essence of Christ’s sacrifice as well as being a
St Paul’s 604-2004, Ed. Keene, Burns and Saint , Yale centre for British Art 2004