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.
St Paul’s longest-serving singer hangs up his cassock for the final time
17 July 2012
After singing at one Royal Wedding, two Jubilees and countless other important occasions at St Paul’s, the
Cathedral Choir’s longest-serving member is set to retire.
Chris Royall, an alto Vicar Choral, will hang up his cassock for the final time this month after 34 years in the back row of the choir stalls.
The 60-year-old who lives in Winchmore Hill, joined the choir in 1978, in the days of 18 men singing regularly, becoming a Vicar Choral in
Since then, Chris has sung at all the Cathedral’s major occasions, including the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 and
the Queen’s two most recent Jubilees in 2002 and earlier this year.
Throughout his years at St Paul’s, Chris has combined his cathedral duties with an active freelance career, as consort singer and soloist, as
well as singing with many of the most prestigious London choirs, including the Monteverdi Choir and, most notably, The Sixteen, of which he was
a founder member. He is married to the soprano Lynda Russell and has two sons, Tim and Jonny.
Chris started his musical career as a chorister at Rochester Cathedral, where his love for church music was fostered. At the age of 18, he went
up to Cambridge as a Choral Scholar at St John's College and to read Geography. Envisaging a career as a geography teacher, he first of all
gained a teaching qualification, but then decided to take his singing further by studying at the Royal College of Music.
Chris’ friend and fellow Vicar Choral Tim Jones said: "Retirement from St Paul's in no way signifies the end of Chris’ singing career. He still
sings with The Sixteen and he is in the business of imparting his infectious enthusiasm to pupils in three different schools.
"This, coupled with his passion for walking, his love for sport and apparently boundless energy, means he is not likely to be idle. Except
perhaps on a Sunday morning!”
Chris added: "It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have sung at St Paul’s for so long and witnessed the amazing transformation of the
building both inside and out. I wish the Cathedral and Choir every success for the future.”