Yodia with family and fellow members of the Friends standing in the West Portico of the Cathedral
Yodia tells us what she appreciates as a member of the Friends.
I have been a Friend of St Paul’s since 2011, as I have enrolled in memberships across a number of cultural and heritage institutions across London. As an American living in London, I treasure the accessibility of iconic landmarks and their amazing stories. The histories are much more tangible when you can see the aged St Paul’s stones (including the fossils in the walls!) and the memorials through the centuries; I discover something new upon every visit.
The Benefits of the Friends
Having worked as part of the Church Commissioners, the endowment arm of the Church of England, I am acutely aware of the financial needs of the Cathedral in terms of fabric and staffing. Furthermore, my children have benefitted from improvements made to St Paul’s Cathedral School, as they have been pupils there since Reception, which has been supported by the Friends. It is these modest contributions which help maintain the heritage and legacy of what is still a growing and thriving community.
Being a Friend is also a way to support St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, whom I know on a first-hand basis. My children are classmates with the choir, and it is wonderful that we can help a centuries-old programme continue to thrive in education, as well as musical achievement. I see them share lessons, play and inspire my children, and am always impressed that the choir can manage a two difficult schedules while carving out a life in the City.
'A spiritual respite'
I also appreciate the wide range of courses and events that help bring St Paul’s to life. It gives me access to what is an overlooked, insider’s London. I work in finance and am very much aware of the space the Cathedral can hold as a spiritual respite or base for a modern world.
The fact that the Cathedral is physically in the middle of a very dynamic centre for finance, also shows me that it is a symbol of endurance and perseverance. Regular talks around spirituality, heritage and politics are an excellent way of embodying that idea, and the Friends gives me access to great thinkers and speakers that help me in my life today.