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 'Jubilee Cope, Stole and Mitre
White flannel cope with gold, silver and copper thread appliqued and laid work
Designed by Beryl Dean
Made by the needlework students at the Stanhope Institute
Thousands of hours of needlework went in to decorating this extraordinary vestment set composed of a cope (a long cloak) a stole (a band of
material worn over the shoulders) and a mitre (the peaked ceremonial head-dress worn by bishops). The set was originally presented to the Diocese
of London to commemorate The Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 and was worn at the special Thanksgiving Service that year. It has been worn on many
occasions since and is still worn by the Bishop of London when he officiates at special services.
A highly complex design covers the surface of the cope: the spires of seventy-two churches in the Diocese of London jostle alongside three
Royal Peculiars (ecclesiastical institutions outside the jurisdiction of the bishop), St Paul’s Cathedral and the Georgian House in Queen
Square, formerly the home of the Stanhope Institute. The accompanying mitre is embroidered with the façade of Westminster Abbey (an extra tower has
been added possibly to make this less apparent) and, on the back, a symbolic ship. The stole is embroidered with crocketed spires.
Beryl Dean, who oversaw the creation of the set, was the foremost textile designer of her generation and a leading exponent of modernist design in
ecclesiastical embroidery; her original design for the cope is kept in the Cathedral archives. Each decorative element was embroidered in gold
thread and silk on to silk organza which was then applied to the cream woollen base.
The essential shape and construction of ecclesiastical vestments has changed little in over one thousand two hundred years. Their decoration
however has varied; reflecting changes in taste and style. St Paul’s retains an impressive collection of historic and modern vestments which play a
central role in the Cathedral’s daily rounds of worship. They vary greatly in their ornamentation and different colours are used at different times
of year to denote particular phases in the Christian calendar.
Embroidery in Religion and Ceremonial, Beryl Dean, Batsford, 1986