Wren's gem in the heart of the City

St Mary Abchurch is almost as Sir Christopher Wren left it and is nearly unique in that respect. 

People come to admire the architecture and furnishings, to spend time in prayer or reflection, to attend events both secular and religious, or all of those. 

After three hundred and forty years of serving the City of London, it’s time to renew St Mary Abchurch so that it can continue to fulfil its historic purposes and also seek new ways to serve the City in the future.


Following several decades of neglect, a lot needs to be put right:

  • The building needs to be repaired inside and out (you might have noticed the cracks)
  • The magnificent mural inside the dome needs to be repaired and cleaned
  • The entire interior needs to be redecorated
  • The electrics need to be replaced, and a new lighting scheme installed
  • The dying gas boiler needs to be replaced by air source heat pumps


With the new entrance to Bank tube station now open, St Mary Abchurch is arguably the best connected building in the country, and has enormous potential as a focus for the study of Wren’s architecture, as a meeting place, and as a place for music and dialogue: but in order to meet that potential it needs a few sensitive changes to be made, with care being taken that the changes will not compromise the building’s architectural integrity.

  • We need a toilet accessible to wheelchair users
  • The building needs a kitchen that meets current standards
  • The vestry needs to become a meeting room rather than a corridor to the only toilet in the building
  • We need state of the art audio-visual equipment
  • The pipe organ needs to be repaired so that it can be used again
  • The choir pews need to be movable so that we can create more space for performers
  • The Victorian varnish needs to be removed from the reredos, the furnishings, and the panelling, in order to reveal the beauty of Wren’s internal design and of the work of the carvers.
  • The vestry floor needs to be lowered, and ramps added to the chancel step, to enable the entire building to be accessible to wheelchair users.


St Mary Abchurch hosts a wide variety of activities: midweek lunchtime services; a weekly organ recital; carol services (including the Candlewick Ward carol service); regular and occasional community group meetings of various kinds; a wide variety of other events (including the Candlewick Ward mote and polling station); and the ‘Word of the Month’ educational project, with occasional ‘Third Thursday’ lectures and discussions. The Friends of the City Churches—a charity that promotes the city churches as a vital aspect of London’s heritage, and that provides volunteer churchwatchers to keep them open—has its base at St Mary Abchurch. 

Once the building is conserved, and minor sensitive alterations have been made, we shall be able to develop all of these activities, and we shall also be far more able to host lectures, debates, dialogues, exhibitions, recitals, and much more. 

During 2023, the tercentenary of Christopher Wren’s death, St Mary Abchurch hosted the Wren 300 wood conservation week, the plaster conservation week, lectures about Wren’s architecture, a 3D measurement project, and one of the Wrenathon choirs. The building would be an ideal place to continue to teach conservation skills and to be a valuable focus for the study of Christopher Wren and his architecture. 

Another theme of the events held during the past couple of years has been social ethics, and particularly their relationship to the Christian Faith. Once we are able to provide the facilities now expected of conferences, exhibitions, and similar events, we shall be able to make a significant contribution to the City of London’s exploration of social ethics.


The St Mary Abchurch Guild Church Council has appointed a project manager and a conservation architect, and detailed plans are now being developed. 

Paying for it

Once the detailed plans have been developed we'll need about £2m to make the project happen.

If you wish to make a donation, however large or small, please email the St Mary Abchurch treasurer, who would be happy to answer questions about the funding of the project.

© Copyright St Mary Abchurch Guild Church Council 2024. All rights reserved.

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