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St Edmund, King and Martyr

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Title: St Edmund, King and Martyr  
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Subject: List of churches in London, St Magnus-the-Martyr, Charles Melville Hays, Old St Paul's Cathedral, List of Christopher Wren churches in London
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St Edmund, King and Martyr

St Edmund King and Martyr
Saint Edmund the King and Martyr
Photo of the church today
Location Lombard Street, London EC3V 9EA
Country England
Denomination Church of England
Previous denomination Roman Catholic
Functional status Consecrated but no regular worship
Heritage designation Grade I
Architect(s) Sir Christopher Wren
Style Baroque
Deanery City of London
Archdeaconry London
Episcopal area Two Cities
Diocese London
For the 9th-century King of East Anglia, Martyr and Saint, see Edmund the Martyr.

St Edmund, King and Martyr, is an Anglican church in Lombard Street, in the City of London, dedicated to St Edmund the Martyr.[1]

Once a parish church, it no longer is used for regular worship. Instead, since 2001 it houses the London Centre for Spirituality and its associated bookshop, but is still a consecrated church.

The church lies in the ward of Langbourn, and has a ward noticeboard outside.


In 1292, the church is first recorded as 'Saint Edmund towards Garcherche',[2] and it reappears in 1348 as 'Saint Edmund in Lombardestrete'. John Stow, in his Survey of London 1598, revised during 1603, refers to it also as St Edmund Grass Church.[3]

The medieval church was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. After the fire the parish was united with that of St Nicholas Acons, which was also destroyed and not rebuilt.[4] The present church was constructed to the designs of Sir Christopher Wren in 1670-1679,[5] with a tower ornamented at the angles by flaming urns in allusion to the Great Fire.[6] George Godwin described the tower as "more Chinese than Italian",[7] while James Peller Malcolm called it "rather handsome, but of that species of architecture which is difficult to describe so as to be understood".[4]

The orientation of the church is unusual, with the altar towards the north, instead of east.[8]

Rectors of the church have included Thomas Lyndford, chaplain in ordinary to George I, and Jeremiah Milles, president of the Society of Antiquaries.[4] The essayist Joseph Addison was married here in 1716.[8]

In September 1868 a riot occurred outside the church, as a consequence of one of a series of Friday morning sermons given by the Rev. J.L. Lyne - known as "Father Ignatius" - in which he had spoken disparagingly of the traders of Lombard Street.[9]

The church was restored in 1864 and 1880. It was damaged by bombing in 1917.[10]

The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950.[11]

Present day

The church and parish now forms part of the combined parish of St Edmund the King and Martyr, and St Mary Woolnoth Lombard Street with St Nicholas Acons, All Hallows Lombard Street, St Benet Gracechurch, St Leonard Eastcheap, St Dionis Backchurch and St Mary Woolchurch Haw - usually shortened to "St Edmund & St Mary Woolnoth" (the only two aforementioned churches to have survived). It is part of the Church of England's Diocese of London.[12]


See also

Anglicanism portal


External links

  • The London Centre for Spirituality

Coordinates: 51°30′44.62″N 0°5′10.68″W / 51.5123944°N 0.0863000°W / 51.5123944; -0.0863000

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