The chapel at St Thomas’ Hospital has recently reopened after months of painstaking renovation work.
It is probably the most historic building in Deptford, with cultural connections that date back to the town's key role in the navy and shipyard economy.
The church is one of those built following the 1711 Act for building new churches in London and its growing suburbs, to counter growing dissent at the involvement of the state in the church, and to install more pride in Britain by providing buildings comparable to the best of the period in Europe. These are generally known as the ‘Queen Anne’ churches. It was completed in 1730.
Thomas Archer was specifically influenced by two churches in the historic centre of Rome: the Interior by Francesco Borromini’s restyling of St Agnese in Agone, Piazza Navona using Corinthian pillars, 1653 onwards, and the Portico by the semi circular Porch of S. Maria della Pace (which is just off the Piazza Navona) by Pietro da Cortona, constructed 1656-1661. The Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England has referred to St Paul’s as one of London’s finest Baroque buildings.