The great dome of St Paul's is one of the most striking features of the City's skyline, standing proud as a beacon of our Christian heritage. Walk over the Millennium Bridge on Easter Sunday with the majestic cathedral façade before you and you'll be in for something of a spiritual experience before you even step inside. The building is a wonderfully historic site. Built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed Old St Paul's, the new cathedral miraculously went on to escape major damage during the Blitz in World War Two. Images of the famous dome framed by smoke became a powerful symbol of hope in a dark time. This poignant story of survival and a lesson in leaving the past behind while looking to new life is what Jesus' resurrection at Easter is all about. The Holy Week services at St Paul's provide a traditional and thoughtful way to meditate on these significant themes. The great celebration of Easter begins with the lighting of the Paschal Candle on Saturday 30th March at 6pm and on Easter Sunday at 10.15am the Dean of St Paul's, The Very Reverend David Ison, takes the Choral Mattins.
St Paul's Churchyard, City, London, EC4M 8AD
Events at St Paul's Cathedral
30th November to 28th December 2013 | Various, many Free
Few places are better for traditional Christmas services and carols than St Paul's, the spiritual home of Great Britain. To meet the increasing demand, this year St Paul's hosts a series of concerts throughout the ...more
Thursday 12th December 2013 - 7pm-8.30pm | £10-£100
Friday 13th December 2013 - 7pm | £15-£35
Candlelight procession featuring traditional British, Swedish and international carols, in collaboration with the Swedish Church in London.
Saturday 14th December 2013 - 5pm | Free non-ticketed
The traditional festive work for boys' voices and harp, performed by the Choristers of St Paul's and Sioned Williams in celebration of Britten's centenary year. Plus motets by the Vicars Choral and advent readings.
7th, 14th and 21st December 2013 - 11am-12.30pm | phone for prices
Sessions looking at the writing of George Herbert, John Donne, Emily Dickinson and Wendy Cope.
2 All Souls Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1B 3DA
Tube: Oxford Circus Station
Anyone who's stood at Oxford Circus wondering which way to turn or trying to meet somebody outside Topshop cannot have failed to notice this striking in-the-round church standing at the northern end of Regent Street. All Souls is the last surviving church built by 19th century architect John Nash and received some pretty harsh criticism when it opened in 1824. Today, the church fills to the rafters for Sunday services as people escape the hustle and bustle of the West End and come into this place of worship. It also has an active outward focus, ministering to workers, students and young people through a variety of groups and events. Services are a rich mix of praise, music (All Souls' famous orchestra accompanies the congregation about once a month) and biblical teaching. Rector Hugh Palmer, a Chaplain to the Queen, Elizabeth II, since July 2012, and Rico Tice, All Souls' resident evangelist, talk about hope in the Christian faith. Services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday when the evening service begins at 6.30pm.
Bridge, Bankside, London, SE1 9DA
Tube: London Bridge Station
While you might be hard pressed to get into the Easter Sunday services at the oldest Gothic building in London, Southwark Cathedral is running many additional services over the Easter period. A hidden gem of a cathedral on the south bank of the Thames by London Bridge, its position just across the river from the city means its mission is to the thriving business community outside its walls but at this time of year worshippers come from all corners to engage with Jesus' death and resurrection. Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday and on Good Friday there's the Procession of Witness which begins at the cathedral at 11am and stops at a number of places along the way for readings before concluding at noon.
Events at Southwark Cathedral
1st to 20th December 2013 | Various, some Free
Southwark Cathedral has a number of festive services open to the public throughout December. For the Cathedral Carol Service, the bulk of the singing is done by the boys, girls and men of the Cathedral ...more
Saturday 14th December 2013 - 12noon | £8, concs £5
Traditional Finnish and Scandinavian carols.
Tuesday 17th December 2013 - 12.45pm | phone for prices
Celebrate with the community and sing carol and traditional Christmas songs.
Wednesday 18th December 2013 - 7.30pm-9.30pm | £14-£28
Friday 20th December 2013 - 7.30pm | £13 & £16
Including Messiah Part 1 and Christmas carols.
Strand, Holborn, London, WC2R 1DH
Tube: Temple Station
For a child-friendly atmosphere in the heart of London, head along to St Clement Danes where the famous Oranges and Lemons service takes place before Easter on 18th March. The classic English nursery rhyme - "'Oranges and lemons', say the bells of St Clement's" - could be said to be based on this church on the Strand and its bells indeed ring out the tune daily at 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 6pm. St Clement Eastcheap also lays claim to being the church featured in the rhyme but don't let a mere technicality get in the way of enjoying the tradition. The rhyme rings out on the church bells, the oldest of which is the Sanctus Bell which was cast in 1588 by Robert Mot, founder of the Whitechapel Foundry. A church has stood on this prominent spot beside the Royal Courts of Justice, on an island in the middle of the Strand, for over 1,000 years. The 'Danes' in the title may well refer to its 9th century construction by the many Danish who lived in England at the time and who dedicated the church to St Clement, patron saint of mariners. Mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, the church escaped damage in the Great Fire of 1666 but was rebuilt by Christopher Wren in 1681. Not so lucky during the Blitz, it was all but destroyed in 1941 and restored in 1958 as the central church of the Royal Air Force. The Easter services both take place at 11am on Good Friday, 29th March, and on Easter Sunday, 31st March.
Dean's Yard, Westminster, London, SW1P 3PA
People have been worshipping on this site for over 1,000 years, dating back to when Benedictine monks arrived circa 960. From these humble beginnings Westminster Abbey has become one of the most famous churches in history, not least because of its awesome architecture, with kings and queens having started and ended their reigns within its majestic walls for centuries. But, even though the Abbey has witnessed its fair share of pomp and ceremony - early examples are King Edward's burial and William the Conqueror's coronation - it still retains a tradition of daily worship, counting itself not just as an historic building but as a living church within the Church of England. Enjoy a special recital on Tuesday in Holy Week (26th March) when the choir of Westminster Abbey, accompanied by period-instrument ensemble St. James's Baroque, will be performing Dietrich Buxtehude's 1680 cycle of seven Passion cantatas, each contemplating a different aspect of the body of Christ on the cross. James O'Donnell, the Abbey's organist and Master of the Choristers, conducts.
Events at Westminster Abbey
6th May 2013 to 27th September 2014 - 10.30am-4pm | Free, plus admission £18, concs £15, NUS £8, family £36 & £44, under 11s Free accompanied
1st to 29th December 2013 | Free, some tickets required
Pack inside one of London's most famous landmarks for an old-fashioned service to take you right through to Christmas Day. Westminster Abbey has been at the centre of royal and religious life in Britain since ...more
Thursday 12th December 2013 - 7pm | £18-£36, phone for availability
James O'Donnell conducts a selection of seasonal works and readings, with Daniel Cook, organ.
Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4JJ
Set in the heart of the West End, St Martin-in-the-Fields is a popular place of worship and is frequently full to the rafters for its services and excellent concert programme. Every Easter it has a comprehensive programme of religious services and prayers, including services in Mandarin and Cantonese (for the nearby Oriental population of Chinatown). The annual Palm Sunday Procession is always one for the diary and includes a procession from Admiralty Arch led by a donkey. The historic church, which overlooks Trafalgar Square, was designed by James Gibbs and built in 1726. It houses a glorious eaterie - the Cafe in the Crypt - a gift shop, brass rubbing centre, art gallery and a market in the courtyard. Candle-lit concerts are held from Thursday to Saturday, there are free lunchtime recitals on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and jazz on Wednesdays. All profits go to support the work of the church, with its particular ministry to the homeless.
Events at St Martin-in-the-Fields
Monday 9th December 2013 - 1pm-2pm | Free, donation £3.50
The group performs opera music by Verdi, Delibes, Saint-Saens, Puccini, Pergolesi, J Strauss and Adolph Adam.
30th November to 31st December 2013 | Various
St Martin-in-the-Fields is a perfect venue for any kind of service or concert - especially when candlelit and on a cold winter's night - but it is really quite extraordinary during the festive period when ...more
Tuesday 10th December 2013 - 1pm | Free
The group performs Enescu's Piano Quintet and Dvorak's Piano Quintet.
Wednesday 11th December 2013 - 8pm-10pm | £3.50-£12
The seventeen-piece London-based band play a compilation of jazz, funk, big band, soul and blues with a distinct Latin and South American influence.
Thursday 12th December 2013 - 7.30pm | £9-£29
Keith Marshall conducts Bach's Christians By Joyful from Christmas Oratorio and Break Forth O Beauteous Heavenly Light, Vivaldi's Winter from Four Seasons and Handel's Christmas Music and Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah.
9th December 2013
IN THIS ARTICLE
St Paul's Cathedral
All Souls Church, Langham Place
St Clement Danes
Easter in London
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London 2013 The Annual
The best London events, openings, anniversaries & experiences for 2013, from LondonTown.com
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