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.
A new commission celebrating the life and witness of St Martin of Tours has come to St Paul’s Cathedral. The new painting by artist Hughie
O’Donoghue has been installed in the chapel of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor in the crypt of St Paul’s, which is dedicated to St Martin,
Patron Saint of the Society.
In consultation with St Paul’s, the Society commissioned the new work with a brief that both honoured the Society and the Cathedral’s vision and
values. After an impressive competition for the commission, the Society has funded the work and is placing it in St Paul’s on a long-term loan. The
painting was dedicated at the annual service of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor on 19th July 2018.
The traditional story of the soldier St Martin tells of his cutting his cloak in two for a poor man. O’Donoghue’s commission depicts Martin
dividing an imperial scarlet cloak for a man who might be seen at any time in one of our streets today. Martin sees the dignity of the man as well
as his urgent need. His Christian faith has taught him that what we do to the most vulnerable in our world we do to Christ.
Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, commented: “It was said of Martin of Tours during his life that ‘he raised the banners of
pity in a harsh time’. At a time when there is a frightening dehumanisation of those who seek safety or the basic requirements to survive, this
striking new painting by Hughie O’Donoghue reminds us of the God-given human dignity of each and every person and of the fact that the human self
is most itself when not being selfish. It will be a source of reflection and prayer for visitors and worshippers and we are grateful to the Society
for their imaginative generosity.”
Throughout its history, art in St Paul's Cathedral has inspired and illuminated the Christian faith for those who visit, and provided a focus for
reflection, meditation and contemplation. The Cathedral is home to a spectacular array of art; from the delicate carvings of Grinling Gibbons in
the quire to Sir James Thornhill's dome murals, as well as Henry Moore's Mother and Child: Hood. The St Paul's Cathedral Visual Arts Programme
seeks to explore the encounter between art and faith, offering a powerful and challenging context with which artists can engage. In recent times, a
series of interventions by artists including Bill Viola and Mark Wallinger have further enriched the daily pattern of worship in the Cathedral.
A talk by Hughie about the work will be given in the Wren Suite at St Paul’s Cathedral on 4th September at 1pm. All are welcome, although places
are limited. Please book free tickets here.
Listen to Hughie and Canon Mark discuss the new painting and the story of St Martin.
Born in Manchester in 1953, Hughie O'Donoghue lives and works in London and County Mayo, Ireland. He was elected member of the Royal Academy of
Arts in 2009 and to Aosdána (an Irish association of artists) in 2013. He has been an artist-in-residence at the National Gallery, London and St
John’s College, Oxford. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the National University of Ireland in 2005. His work has been exhibited widely in
Britain (including solo exhibitions at: Leighton House Museum, London, 2016; University Gallery, Newcastle, 2013; Abbot Hall Art Gallery,
Kendal, 2012; Leeds City Art Gallery, 2009; Imperial War Museum, 2003; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and touring, 2001-03; and Whitworth Art
Gallery, Manchester, 1999), as well as in Ireland, Germany, France, Holland and the Czech Republic. His most recent exhibition, Scorched Earth, was
in Spring 2018 at Marlborough Fine Art, London.