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.
'Batter my heart' - A John Donne sonnet to mark World Poetry Day
21 March 2013
A sonnet by John Donne (1572-1631), Dean of St Paul's Cathedral and one of England’s foremost poets, to mark
World Poetry Day.
Holy Sonnet XIV: Batter My Heart
Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
Renowned both as an extraordinarily sensual poet and a great priest and preacher (Dean of St Paul's from 1621-31) who coined the phrases ‘No man is
an island’ and ‘For whom the bell tolls’, John Donne’s work remains as powerful today as when lived and worked at St Paul’s in the early years of
the 17 century. Today, visitors to the cathedral are still reminded of his time at St Paul’s by his imposing statue - the only one to survive,
unscathed, from the Great Fire of 1666.
A new statue to Donne was
also unveiled last year in the gardens to the south of the Cathedral.