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.
I have not done it in this last sorrowfully strange year of pandemic and lockdown. But in times past, were I on my own, in a predominantly
white town, somewhere distant from more diverse places – I recall that I would nod to any Black person I saw there. Typically, they would be
alone too. I cannot remember a single occasion when the nod was not reciprocated. The nod is a kind of acknowledgment of our individual and
collective vulnerability, solidarity and unconscious to me most of those times, the possibility that if one of us were to become seriously in
danger, an unsaid agreement that we would unite.
In this anecdote is the idea that the two people recognise they are fragments of the same body. That Black person I see across the street, our
shared hue teaches us about ourselves in real time. You are one. Acknowledge it. The tiny recognition raises questions. Of pain – are we in
danger? And of potential – what could we do together? A layered storified lesson wrapped up in a brief head nod. Capturing our Black selves and
We remember Jesus’ death today. The scriptures record His crying out ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ He cries out these words for
himself wracked with pain in his body and for us all in His body. His body on the cross and in the church, is good news, because it is
simultaneously a particular reality and a universal symbol. His death has become a powerful symbol of sacrifice, forgiveness and love. The
symbol is only powerful if reality can testify to it.
The reality of His divinity encased in that human frame grants each of us redemption, individually and all of us collectively. We do not
commemorate the Lord on the cross if we overlook the real suffering and the danger the marginalised are in. It is impossible to imagine the
muscular, blonde haired, blue-eyed man hanging in many churches, either as a suffering servant who endured pain for people that look like me or
as a symbol of joyful liberation for the powerless. James Cone writes, that, “we cannot find liberating joy in the cross by spiritualizing it,
by taking away its message of justice in the midst of powerlessness, suffering and death.”
Christian racism ignores the voice of the One who cries out for the forsaken. As with all sin it jeopardises our witness to the gift of
salvation. The solution to this problem is not simply regret and good intention. It is for the church to return to the cross, to see in racism,
the betraying, spitting, mockery that is the prelude to the negation of His very life.
The symbolic diversity we seek needs to be borne in facing reality. A reality that is painful and which causes too many of us to say, “Am I in
danger here?” Yet a new safe reality might be born in the beyond where with powerful potential His body can pray, “What could we do together?”
Prebendary Richard Springer is the Rector of St George-in-the-East, Dean of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic Ministry for the Stepney
Area and Director of the Urban Leadership School at the Centre for Theology and Community.