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'Powerful but surprising' detail wins St Paul's photo competition

A "wonderfully effective" image of a much-seen but seldom focused-upon part of St Paul's has scooped top prize in the Cathedral's surprise photo competition.
Chris Grundy's detailed image of the peristyle at the bottom of Wren's great dome ticked all the boxes in the Surprise St Paul's competition, which asked entrants to capture the Cathedral from an unusual angle or setting.

Chris, who is 42 and who works for a Plumbers Merchants in Watford, regularly visits London to indulge in his passion for photography - specialising in low-light work and endeavouring capture things from unusual or unique angles.

As the winner of Surprise St Paul's, he will now be given an after-hours, behind-the-scenes tour of the Cathedral with five friends, led by the Cathedral's Surveyor to the Fabric, at which he will be given the chance to capture more stunning images.

He and his friends will then head over the road to the luxury 5-star Grange St Paul’s Hotel, which boasts fabulous unobstructed views of the Cathedral, where he and his friends will enjoy a Traditional Hibachi Dinner or Benihana Specialties Dinner.

Almost 600 entries were received for the competition, 12 of which were shortlisted and handed to Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, to choose a single winner.

On selecting Chris' image, Sandy Nairne said: "This is a powerful but surprising image of St Paul’s, featuring such an unusual view of Christopher Wren’s great peristyle, but with a sense of the warm creative life of the Cathedral within. The balance of light and perspective is wonderfully effective.
As well as the winner, Sandy Nairne also picked out three other images for commendation:
As well as being a great opportunity to see Wren's great masterpiece from different angles, the competition provided the chance for the Cathedral's fundraising department to showcase their crucial work in helping to preserve and enhance one of the world's most iconic buildings.

The competition came after St Paul’s launched its text giving services, offering users the chance to help support the ministry, work and maintenance of St Paul’s either through a one-off £3 donation or a recurring monthly £5 donation.

Text Giving
Text GIVE to 70080 to give £3, as a one-off payment

St Paul's in Your Pocket
Text POCKET to 70088 to give £5, recurring on a monthly basis

Director of Development, Matthew Lagdon, said: "Last year alone more than two million people came to St Paul's, and it is those people who also helped it to be the single most photographed building in London.
"All the money needed to maintain this most iconic of world buildings has to be raised by the Cathedral alone, and our new text giving programmes will allow those who feel they have a connection to this great Cathedral, like those who entered the competition, an opportunity to quickly and easily contribute to the present and future of Wren's masterpiece."
The Cathedral wishes to thank Grange St Paul’s Hotel for kindly offering part of the competition prize.