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St Paul

St Paul's Bow Common is the most famous and significant parish church to be built in Britain in the latter half of the 20th century.

Bow Common, Greater London

Opening times

The church is open daily.


Burdett Road
Bow Common
Greater London

St Paul's replaced an earlier church that was designed by Rohde Hawkins in 1858 and financed by William Cotton of Leytonstone. Consecrated by Bishop Charles James Blomfield, this church was largely destroyed in the Second World War, and demolished in the 1950s.

The modern church was built in 1958-60, and the building is listed Grade II*. Its architects were Robert Maguire and Keith Murray. Revd Gresham Kirkby, a Christian Anarchist, was also involved in the design, and continued as parish priest until 1994, being succeeded by Revd Prebendary Duncan Ross, who retired in October 2013.

The lettering around the porch reads 'Truly this is none other but the house of God This is the Gate of Heaven' (Genesis 28:17), was carved by Ralph Beyer. The 800 square foot mosaic is by Charles Lutyens. Made from coloured Murano glass tesserae, and taking five years to make, the mosaic is likely to be the largest artist created contemporary mosaic mural in the British Isles. The church is currently home to Lutyens's 'Outraged Christ'.

On 7 November 2013, the church was judged to be the winner of the National Churches Trust Diamond Jubilee Award for best Modern Church built in the UK since 1953.

The building was described by the judges as the ‘embodiment of the ground swell of ideas about Christian worship’ and a ‘hugely influential signpost for future Anglican liturgy’.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Famous connections

  • Glorious furnishings

  • National heritage here

  • Social heritage stories

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Café within 500m

  • Dog friendly

  • Level access to the main areas

  • On street parking at church

  • Parking within 250m

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Train station within 250m

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Church of England

  • Gateway Grant, £3,950, 2020

  • Our Gateway Grants fund churches developing building projects and also urgent maintenance and repair projects to help keep churches open.

  • Cornerstone Grant, £50,000, 2014

  • Our Cornerstone Grants fund urgent repairs and essential community facilities such as toilets and kitchens to help keep churches open.

Contact information

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