Remnants of St Faith under St Paul’s

The London parish of St Faith’s existed long after the disappearance of its church. The building, which stood on the eastern side of Old St Paul’s Cathedral, was demolished in 1256, to make room for the eastward expansion of St Paul’s, known as “The New Work.” Afterward the congregation of stationers and booksellers who plied their trade in Paternoster Row continued to worship as a separate parish in the west crypt of the cathedral under the choir. The parish was thereafter known as “St Faith under St Paul’s.” In the reign of Edward VI the congregation moved to the Jesus Chapel beneath the New Work, and remained there until the destruction of Old St Paul’s in the Great Fire of London. It subsequently joined the parish of St Augustine, Watling Street, which itself was destroyed during World War II.

There are several artifacts of the former parish of St Faith’s in and around St Paul’s Cathedral. There are mosaics on the floor of the crypt marking the footprint of the old chapel. There are parish boundary markers on the wall of St Paul’s Choir School in New Change and on the cathedral itself. The most prominently placed artifact is the parish water pump, erected in 1819, and now behind a fence at the entrance to Paternoster Square. Until the mid-nineteenth century, when fresh piped water became commonplace, and well water was deemed unsafe, every parish had its own pumps. Although St Faith’s was entirely within the boundaries of St Paul’s it had its own pump.

One thought on “Remnants of St Faith under St Paul’s

  1. Visited St. Paul’s Cathedral today in hope of finding the epithet of our ancestor John Cawood who was Queen Mary’s and Queen Elizabeth’ royal printer in the 1500’s. He was a member of St. Faith under St. Paul’s Church and supposedly buried there. By chance do you have a listing of those who were buried there or other information.


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