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St Helen's Bishopsgate
St Helen's Bishopsgate
St Helen's Bishopsgate

Country England
Denomination Church of England
Website St Helen's Bishopsgate
Senior pastor(s) William Taylor
The interior of St Helen's Bishopsgate

St Helen's Bishopsgate is a large conservative evangelical Anglican church, in Lime Street ward, in the City of London, close to the Lloyd's building and the 'Gherkin'.



St Helen's Bishopsgate dates from 1210, when it was part of a priory for Benedictine nuns. It is unusual in that it was designed around two parallel naves, which give it a wide interior.[1] Inside are many fifteenth and seventeenth century funerary monuments, including that of Sir Andrew Judd (d.1558), Sir William Pickering (d.1574) and Sir John Crosby (d.1475).[2] It was the parish church of William Shakespeare when he lived in the area in the 1590s.[3] It is one of only a few City churches to survive both the Great Fire of London of 1666 and The Blitz during World War II[4].

In 1992 and 1993, St Helen's was badly damaged by two IRA bombs that were set off nearby[5]. The roof of the church was lifted and one of the city's largest medieval stained glass windows was shattered. Now, it has been fully restored although many of the older monuments within the church were entirely destroyed. Architect Quinlan Terry, an enthusiast of Georgian architecture, designed the restoration of the building along Reformation lines. Due to parish consolidation over the years, the parish is now named "St Helen Bishopsgate with St Andrew Undershaft & St Ethelburga Bishopsgate & St Martin Outwich & St Mary Axe." The Merchant Taylors' Company are the patrons of the benefice.[6]

The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 04 January 1950.[7]


St Helen's currently holds three services each Sunday, one in the morning at 10:30am, one in the afternoon at 4pm and one in the evening at 6pm. The Sunday afternoon and evening services are followed by an informal meal and social time.

There are also numerous midweek small groups which meet at the church. These include the 'Read, Mark, Learn (RML)' groups which either study the Gospel of Mark, the Epistle to the Romans or a Bible overview over the course of a year. There is also the Central Focus group which studies a whole variety of topics and books from the Bible.The church also runs the Christianity Explored course regularly.



Former rectors include R. C. Lucas. The current rector is William Taylor.[8]


  1. ^ "London:the City Churches” Pevsner,N/Bradley,S New Haven, Yale, 1998 ISBN 0300096550
  2. ^ "Churches of the City of London" Reynolds,H : London, Bodley Head, 1922
  3. ^ In Search of Shakespeare. Bishopsgate
  4. ^ "The Old Churches of London" Cobb,G: London, Batsford, 1942
  5. ^ "The Visitors Guide to the City of London Churches" Tucker,T: London, Friends of the City Churches, 2006 ISBN 0955394503
  6. ^ Details of the history of St Helen's and the other churches in this benefice (St Andrew's, St Martin's Outwich etc) in the 17th century can be found in Lee Gatiss, The Tragedy of 1662: The Ejection and Persecution of the Puritans. Gatiss
  7. ^ Images of England — details from listed building database (199492) accessed 23 January 2009
  8. ^ Saint Helen's Bishopgate

Coordinates: 51°30′53″N 0°04′54″W / 51.5148°N 0.0818°W / 51.5148; -0.0818


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