St. Paul’s Cathedral is a venerable, historic church at the heart of downtown London, Canada. With a long tradition of stirring worship and social outreach in Christ’s name, St. Paul’s is a vibrant faith community and a beacon of hope at the centre of this city.
St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission Statement
The mission of St. Paul's is to be the Family of Christ, a loving family embracing all people, eager to help them in their needs by sharing ourselves and our resources. We seek through meaningful worship and Christian growth to express our joy and faith.
In grateful response to the love of God given to us in Jesus Christ, the faith community of St. Paul’s is called to live out Christ's gift of unlimited love that brings transformation and new life not only within the Cathedral community, but also to our brothers and sisters, especially those who suffer from poverty, violence, and injustice.
To this end:
I. We Practice Radical Hospitality
Our pastoral, educational, musical, welcome, and evangelism ministries invite all to worship and serve here and encourage all to pursue their spiritual pilgrimages.
II. We Offer Faith Formation for All Ages
Everyone is on a faith journey and will find education, guidance, and the joy of belonging to and serving in a community of justice and love.
III. We Claim Spiritual Gifts for Ministry
We call all people to serve, we provide them with direction for vocation in Christ, and we uphold them in all aspects of ministry.
IV. We Are Focused On the Community and the World
Our faith is informed by and made accountable to the urgent needs of our brothers and sisters in South Africa and throughout the world.
V. We are Future Focused
We value that we are the Cathedral in the heart of the city with the city in its heart and recognize our 160 year place in the community of London and will build upon that legacy for Christ in our city’s future.
VI. We Are Worship-And-Music-Centered
We offer inspiration, transformation, and strength through a diversity of worship and music for our parish and for our community.
VII. We Give Abundantly
We lift our hearts, hands, and voices, honoring God and God's gifts to us through generosity of our time, talent, and treasure.
The land on which the Cathedral stands is vested in the Diocese of Huron. These grounds served as a graveyard for the village of London and eventually most of the interred and their grave-markers were transferred to Woodland Cemetery owned by the Cathedral but a few tombstones still remain in the church grounds.
The tower bears the date 1845 on a shield high up on the outside. Its thick walls were designed to support a peal of 6 bells. The six were replaced by a chime of 10 bells in 1901 and recast into 11 bells in 1935. The clock, each of its three faces measuring over 5 feet, was installed along with the 1901 chime of bells. Generations of bell-ringers have left a record of great moments in the Cathedral’s history by their penciled notations on the walls of the loft. The gargoyles on the pinnacles and doorways are carved from stone quarried at Portland Bill, the same quarry Sir Christopher Wren used to build St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England.
The Narthex holds many interesting mementoes; the monument commemorating those men of H.M. 23rd Regiment of Royal Welsh Fusiliers who fell in the Battle of Alma in the Crimea in 1854; the cross from Canterbury Cathedral and the marble from St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England; the Cronyn tombstone that originally marked the family grave in Woodland Cemetery.
Originally the church extended one window further east than the present nave and its east wall featured a small half-octagonal apse. There were galleries on each of the other three walls, with the organ and choir occupying the west gallery. The pulpit (now in Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church) stood front and center. In 1869, during the tenure of the Very Rev'd Dr. Isaac Hellmuth, the small apse was replaced by a chancel large enough to accommodate the choir and clergy, with an organ chamber on the south and vestries on the north.
In 1892, during the tenure of the Very Rev'd G.M. Innes, the chancel of 1869 was removed, one more window of the nave was taken down and the present wide transepts and spacious chancel were built. The galleries were removed and the present elaborate system of beams was devised so as to render all the pillars unnecessary. The Carrara marble font in the baptistery at the west doors commemorates the long sojourn of Dean Innes at the Cathedral, 1871 to 1903.
The south transept was equipped as a chapel (now known as the Lady Chapel) during the rectorship of the Very Rev'd I. N. Tucker, rector of the Cathedral 1911-1934 and Dean of Huron 1918-1934.
The bronze lanterns hanging in the nave were given as memorials while the Very Rev'd C.E. Jeakins was rector and Dean of Huron, 1935-1940.
St. David’s Chapel in the north transept dates from the tenure of the Very Rev'd K. B. Keefe, Dean and Rector from 1961-1980. The altar contains one stone from each deanery in the Diocese of Huron as well as one stone from Canterbury, England, and was formerly in the Synod Office Chapel on Richmond Street.
Military colours of former London regiments are laid up in the transepts.
The Chancel and Sanctuary
Most of the carving on the chancel furnishings, together with the ornamental screens flanking the chancel, are the work of Bavarian craftsmen from the Globe Furniture Company in Waterloo, Ontario. On the right as you enter the chancel is the dean’s stall commemorating the Very Rev'd M. Boomer, second Dean of Huron, 1871-1888. Directly opposite is the chair created for the Rev'd Canon A. G. Dann who served as rector of the Cathedral from 1903-1910. He was not dean as, for the only time in its history, the title was bestowed on the rector of another church. The Bishop’s Cathedra (chair) stands to the east of the Cathedral Canons’ stalls on the south side and is a memorial to Bishop Cronyn.
The present symbols on the chancel ceiling date from the days of the Very Rev'd G.N. Luxton, rector and Dean of Huron 1944-1948. During the tenure of the Very Rev'd R. C. Brown rector and Dean of Huron, 1948-1961, the sanctuary was enhanced by the installation of a new altar, reredos and paneling.
The present organ, a memorial to members of the Cathedral who served in two world wars, was built by Cassavant Freres of St. Hyacinth, Quebec, and dedicated in 1953.
The first processional cross dates from the incumbency of the Very Rev'd P. N. Harding, rector and Dean of Huron, 1940-1944, who founded the Altar Servers’ Guild. The brass alms basin was presented by the family of Marion Grace Barker in thanksgiving for her rescue from the sinking steamer, Victoria, in the Thames River on May 24, 1881. The candlesticks on the high altar were purchased for the Cathedral by the Rev'd D. D. Jones in 1954 from a shop next to Westminster Abbey.
The window in the tower, “Christ Blessing the City and the World”, was designed by Christopher Wallis in 1992.
In the 1991 window over the great west door in the narthex, Christopher Wallis traces the development of the Cathedral from the naming of London in 1793 to the presentation of the Cathedral’s Coat of Arms in 1989.
The three windows dedicated to St. Paul on the north wall of the nave are also the work of Christopher Wallis and commemorate our 150th Anniversary in 1996.
The two windows on the south wall adjacent to the font have a baptismal theme and are from the Maile Studios of Canterbury, England. They are a memorial to the members of the pioneer Peters’ family.
The nativity window, completed by Christopher Wallis in 1996, covers the entire nativity story in just one window.
The two windows next to the Nativity window and the two opposite are the work of Louis Tiffany in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Two are actually signed by him. They are in memory of the members of the Meredith family.
The great windows in the transepts are 32 feet high and each contains 600 square feet of glass. They were placed there during the Cathedral renovation of 1892-1894.
The window above the south transept door depicts Christ in the Temple. It was formerly in the sanctuary above the high altar and is a memorial to Dr. W.H. Moorhouse, a founder of the School of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario.
The windows in the sanctuary commemorate some very interesting London citizens who were members of this congregation. They are from left to right:
“Christ as the High Priest” and “The Good Shepherd”; these two windows, now in a single frame, commemorate two pioneers of London – Lawrence Lawrason Jr., an early police magistrate, and the Rev'd Benjamin Bayly, an early London educator.
“Conversion of St. Paul”; in memory of Nathaniel and Sarah Reid, early settlers, and made in Innsbruck, Austria.
The “Christus Rex”; commemorates the life of Archdeacon C.W. Foreman who began his ministry as a Cathedral curate in 1916, and, on his retirement in 1969, rejoined the Cathedral staff until his death in 1975.
“The Resurrection”; in memory of E. W. Hyman, one of London’s earliest industrialists, and owner of Hyman Tannery.
“The Sermon on the Mount”; in memory of the Hon. G.J. Goodhue, London’s first general merchant and first millionaire, and his wife, Louisa.
Additional Cathedral windows include: in the Children’s Chapel in the parish hall the memorial window to Col. M. Burwell who surveyed the town site of London in 1835, and to Isaac Brock Burwell. When the Burwell Memorial Church in Caradoc was demolished in 1939, the window was installed at the Cathedral by the London and Middlesex Historical Society. The Chapel also includes a mural depicting children’s church activities in memory of Dr. Kate Matthews, founder of Matthews Hall, which began in St. Paul’s in 1918.
The contemporary style window in St. Aidan’s Chapel is in memory of deceased members of the Altar Guild and Women’s Association. It was created by Shirley Stertz in 1967.
The four heraldic and medallion windows in the Dean’s office were installed in 1992.
St. Paul's continues to make improvements to its historic church, offices and gathering places so that they will be increasingly barrier-free.
Currently there are four wheel-chair accessible entrances to St. Paul’s Cathedral and its facilities:
At all times, two parking places are reserved for those with accessible parking permits in the lot off Queens Avenue
Pews have been removed in the South Transept, so that wheel chairs may be positioned close to the front.
There is an accessible washroom located in the narthex at the back of the church, as well as new accessible washrooms outside Cronyn Hall.
At St. Paul’s we strive to ensure that each person who walks through our doors is treated with kindness and respect, and we want everyone to know that they and their family are entering a safe place.
In keeping with the Diocese of Huron’s Safe Church Policy, all St. Paul’s clergy and staff, as well as all volunteers working in Children & Youth Ministries, have undergone police screening. Clergy, staff, and many parishioners have first aid certification, as well.
Training is being offered on an annual basis to ensure that topics such as sexual misconduct, bullying, abuse (domestic, child and elder), and mental health are discussed openly. These sessions are to remind clergy, staff and volunteers of appropriate behaviour, and also serve to equip them with tools to ensure that they can go about their work in safety.