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.
Sermon preached on Palm Sunday (20 March 2016) by Revd Canon Michael Hampel, Precentor
Ancient shrines and Coca-Cola signs: Canon Michael stresses how the Passion is contemporary
On pilgrimage in the Holy Land, in January one year
I felt that Holy Week had arrived early because, as we walked in the footsteps of Jesus, the places which he knew and the theatres in which the
drama of his life and death were played out brought a sense of immediacy to the well tried and tested story which we consider this coming week,
starting today – right now.
We ourselves – the pilgrims – arrived in Jerusalem not on a Sunday but on a Friday but we spent a week, just as we are about to spend a week,
steeped in the events of the Passion.
We visited the Mount of Olives and Gethsemane, the House of Caiaphas, the High Priest ...
... we prayed at the Judgement Gate and walked the Via
Dolorosa; we visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and prayed at the foot
of the cross and knelt at the tomb; then we travelled out of the city towards Emmaus and celebrated the Eucharist together where the risen Christ
was recognised in the breaking of the bread.
One very major aspect of all of this struck me most particularly: not so much the sense of sacred place, important to me though that was, but the
vivid reality of story. In each place, the Gospel account was read against the backdrop of ancient shrines and coca cola signs, of churches and
noisy markets, of praying pilgrims and chattering tourists, of the spiritual and of the real – each throwing the other into relief.
I realised more than ever before just how very contemporary is the story of the Passion of Our Lord:
a story of fellowship and betrayal, of desertion and reconciliation, of triumph and disaster.
And I realised too that, striking though the great Renaissance paintings and the Baroque music of the story are, they do not tell the whole story –
because these events which will unfold once again in our devotions and worship this week took place very much within the context of the busy
humdrum which is this world and that the same marketers who jostled us as we walked the way of the cross that week were akin to the ones who
ignored the pathetic figure of Christ as he stumbled and fell along that narrow street which led to Calvary.
This week, we shall enter into prayer and contemplation, drama and ritual, worship and song, and we shall pray as hard as we ever pray – and
perhaps harder than usual – for a sense of God’s presence with us and within us.
Holy Week is a real opportunity to do something we’re not very good at doing in England’s green and pleasant land:
to fall to our knees in awe and thanksgiving at the extraordinary truth to which the rough-hewn beams of the cross point – that this doubtful
symbol of our salvation is a story of self-awareness, self-sacrifice, and self-preservation. And it is a story like all other stories but with this
one great difference: that it actually happened.
And, in the year 2016, whether we were once in the Holy Land or not, it is the story of our self-awareness, of our self-sacrifice, and of
our self-preservation – for we are the body of Christ: of our crucified, resurrected and ascended Lord.