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.
Leave me, O Love - a Sir Philip Sidney sonnet to mark National Poetry Day
03 October 2013
To mark National Poetry Day, a sonnet by Sir Philip Sidney, Elizabethan poet, courtier and solider, buried at
In this poem, Sidney yearns for the higher love of God to lift him above the passing nature of earth’s charms. He desires a release
from the lowliness of the temporal world so that he may seek the eternal realm and a sacred love that will last forever.
Leave me, O Love
from Certain Sonnets (pub.1598)
Leave me, O Love, which reachest but to dust;
And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things;
Grow rich in that which never taketh rust;
Whatever fades, but fading pleasure brings.
Draw in thy beams, and humble all thy might
To that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be,
Which breaks the clouds and opens forth the light,
That doth both shine and give us light to see.
O take fast hold; let that light be thy guide
In this small course which birth draws out to death,
And think how evil becometh him to slide
Who seeketh heaven, and comes of heavenly breath.
Then farewell, world; thy uttermost I see:
Eternal Love, maintain thy life in me.
Splendidis longum valedico Nugis
Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586) was one of the leading figures of the Elizabethan age. Famous for works including Arcadia and Astrophel and Stella, he did much to popularise the
English language sonnet and was almost certainly an influence on William Shakespeare, who was ten years his junior.
A Protestant supporter of Queen Elizabeth I, Sidney was to die fighting for this religious cause against the Spanish at the Battle of Zutphen
in 1586, aged just 31.
His body was interred in St Paul's Cathedral a year later but his tomb was lost in the Great Fire of 1666.
Today, Sidney is remembered with a slate and marble monument in the crypt.