The current Cathedral – the fourth to occupy this site.
was designed by the court architect Sir Christopher Wren and built between 1675 and 1710 afterits predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London.
Its architectural and artistic importance reflect the determination of the five monarchs who oversaw its building thatLondon’s leading church should be as beautiful and imposing as their private palaces.
Since the first service was held here in 1697, Wren's masterpiece has been where people and events ofoverwhelming importance to the country have been celebrated, mourned and commemorated. Important services have included the funerals of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir WinstonChurchill; Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria; peace services marking the end of the First and Second World Wars; the launch of the Festival of Britain; the Service of Remembrance andCommemoration for the 11th September 2001: the 80th and 100th birthdays of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother; the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer and, mostrecently, the thanksgiving services for both the Golden Jubilee and 80th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.
St Paul’s is currently undergoing an historic £40 million programme of cleaningand repair to mark the 300th Anniversary of the Cathedral in 2010. This is the first time in its long history that the building has been comprehensively restored inside and out. Once theprogramme of cleaning and repair is finished the two million visitors and worshippers who come to St Paul’s each year can witness Wren’s original vision and see his Cathedral as freshas the day it was completed.
St Paul’s is the cathedral of the Diocese of London. The Diocese is made up of five episcopal areas: Willesden, Edmonton, Stepney, London and Kensington.