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
Education is a core part of the Cathedral's work, delivered through a variety of events by St Paul's Forum, St Paul's Institute and the
Schools & Families department.
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.
New John Donne statue unveiled in the shadow of St Paul's
15 June 2012
A statue of John Donne, one of England’s foremost poets and priests, and a Dean of St Paul's, has been
unveiled in the newly completed garden to the south of the cathedral.
The bronze bust, by artist Nigel Boonham FRBS, points almost due west but shows Donne turning to face east towards his birthplace on Bread
Street, just yards from the cathedral.
The directions of the compass were important to Donne in his metaphysical work: east is the Rising Sun, the Holy Land and Christ,
while west is the place of decline and of death.
Underneath the bust is inscribed the Donne text:
Hence is't, that I am carried towards the West,
This day, when my Soul's form bends to the East
The Reverend Canon Mark Oakley, Treasurer of St Paul's, said: "Nigel Boonham's dignified bust of John Donne places the former Dean in the heart
of the City that was so dear to him and very close to his places of birth, work and death. The memorial includes words from Donne’s Good
Friday, 1613, Riding Westward, considered by some to be one of the finest devotional poems of the Renaissance period, and these poignantly
interrogate the directions we take in life and the frightening tendency of human beings to end up living lives which conflict with their soul’s
understanding of what is true and good.
"To be challenged with these thoughts in an energetic, busy and too often anonymous City is timely. Our recent study event in St Paul’s on
Donne attracted over 1,600 people to attend and clearly showed how people continue to be drawn to his resonance as both poet and preacher. To
have the pre-Fire statue of Donne in the cathedral and now a contemporary one outside displays his importance to both church and world in his
own times and in ours today."
The new sculpture was commissioned by the City of London, led by Alderman Hall, who wanted to create the first fully public memorial to Donne.
It was unveiled by the artist and Professor Peter McCullough, one of the cathedral's Lay Canons.
John Donne (1572-1631)
Renowned both as an extraordinarily sensual poet and a great priest and preacher 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.