St. Paul’s Cathedral

Each day of this extended stay in London I worked on missions work, keeping up with my emails, sending some slides and a text to New Vision Church (for whom I had to cancel my coming as a speaker for their missionary conference) and related duties.

I spent time with Paul, working on a 3-year plan for planting a church among a specific people group in London. I am pleased with the vision Paul has for this, with the learning that he is doing in this year of internship, and with the relationships he and his wife have built with families in the people group.

On available time off we continued to explore the glories of London, including time at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

It was built over a period of 35 years, from 1675 to 1710. For one historical perspective, when the Cathedral was completed, John Wesley was 7 years old.

It is located in the financial district known as the City of London.

It is famous for being designed by Sir Christopher Wren and for being the location of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. The wedding took place in 1981 and through television was watched by a global audience of over 750 million.

Because of the height of St. Paul’s and because of the surrounding tall buildings, it is impossible for the ordinary photographer to get a good shot of the Cathedral, so the above photo is from the web. The next several shots that appear below are mine.

The impressive dome was inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The Cathedral rises 365 feet from ground level to the cross at the top of the dome. Wren was a master of symbolism and detail, so the distance to the cross represents one foot for each day of the year.

Inside, JoLene and I climbed the 257 narrow, winding steps to the Whispering Gallery that goes around the inside base of the dome. Then I went up still farther 119 more steps to the Stone Gallery, which is an observation walkway outside the dome. My legs were protested a bit, so I opted not to go the 152 more steps that would have taken me and my legs to the observation platform at the very top of the dome.

From the Stone Gallery here is the view south to the pedestrian Millennium Bridge across the Thames.

And here is the view east, between the two towers of the front of the Cathedral.

The inside of the Cathedral has so many striking features. I will mention only the glittering mosaics of the ceiling, shown imperfectly in a photo (this one from the web).

In the Cathedral bookstore I learned of this iconic and sobering photo.

It was taken by Herbert Mason during the German air raid bombing on December 29, 1940. The east end of the Cathedral was damaged but the main structure was spared by a gracious Providence.

7 Responses

  1. Great shots of St. Paul’s Cathedral! It truly is a beautiful testimony to the creative gifts and the practical construction capabilities of the image of God. Wren did some amazing work which has stood the test of time, must have been a blessing to see and worship in during the air raids.

    PS. For some ‘historical perspective,” I was only 7 when I watched the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana with full attention 😉

    • Your historical perspective made me grin from ear to ear. Thanks for the comment.
      I have no idea what important things happened when I was age 7! Incidentally, that was 1950.

  2. Hmm … 1950. That would be the beginning of the Korean War and McCarthyism right alongside it. On the ‘lighter’ side, Peanuts begins its run 😉

    • Hey, I lived through some notable history but paid little attention at the time.

  3. Well, you were 7 years old when I was born–an important birth, though I doubt you realized it at the time!

  4. Oops! I did the math wrong–just add 7 more years.

    • Who would have thought that my mention, in passing, about age 7, would yield so much delightful commentary?!

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