GreaterLondonPADDINGTONStJamesSussexGardens(mattbrownCC-BY-2.0)1 MattBrown

St James Sussex Gardens

St James is a glorious Victorian parish church, rich in original stained glass, monuments and fittings, and home to a lively and active community.

Paddington, Greater London

Opening times

Open every weekday from around 9am until about 7.15pm, and all day on Sunday. The church is almost always open Saturdays, with very rare exceptions.

The church also hosts many evening concerts and free lunchtime recitals: see the website for what's coming up.


Sussex Gardens
Greater London
W2 3UD

Although the parish of Paddington is medieval, a church was first built on this site in 1843. It was substantially rebuilt by the illustrious Victorian architect GE Street, in a neo Gothic style of unusual and generous breadth.

The walls are clad in inlaid marble, and almost every window is stained glass. In the chancel, the highly ornate and partially guilded High Altar stands in front of a marble reredos carving of the Last Supper, and inlaid marble panels depicting biblical plants and flowers. The font and pulpit are fine examples of marble sculpture.

After bomb damage destroyed the orignal baptistry window, a striking new window was installed in 1955 as a memorial to those who died in the Battle of Britain. It was designed by Arthur Buss and depicts the Te Deum; it also includes some local scenes and references to well known people connected with the church or parish: Robert Baden Powell, who was baptised at St James's; the statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (JM Barrie lived locally); and Alexander Fleming, whose discovery of penicillin happened at nearby St Mary's Hospital. In the last few years, a plaque has been installed near the entrance of the church commemorating the marriage here in 1884 of Constance Lloyd to Oscar Wilde.

In recent years the church was reordered and a modern nave sanctuary was constructed, at whose heart is a large square wooden altar, lit from beneath (the church and its interior is especially atmospheric after daylight has faded).

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • National heritage here

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Famous connections

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

Contact information

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