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It has taken many months but the Company has now reached an agreement with the Diocese of London to manage the Church of St Martin within Ludgate. This beautiful church stands close to the site of the west gate (Ludgate) in the Roman and medieval city walls of the city of London. It is dedicated to St Martin of Tours, who was a soldier and a patron saint of beggars thanks to the story that he cut his cloak in two in order to share it with a freezing beggar.

The medieval building was destroyed in 1666 during the Great Fire of London. The Church you see today dates back to 1684 and was designed by the famous architect, Christopher Wren, assisted by Robert Hooke who was Surveyor to the City of London. Hooke’s diary records many visits to the site as the church was being rebuilt. It is considered to be one of the fifty-two Wren Churches that survived the blitz.

The design of the exterior of the church was influenced by Giacomo della Porta’s church of the Gesu in Rome as is demonstrated by the two large scroll buttresses which are features of Italian and French architecture of the sixteenth century.

Three beautifully carved door cases lead to the interior of the church and the central one has elegantly carved cherubs holding a crown and floral garlands, similar to those in Stationers’ Hall.  In the body of the church four columns create a Greek cross.

On the ground floor there are various objects of historical interest including:

  • - An organ by Theodore Bates which dates back to 1848
  • - 17th century bread shelves where wealthy parishioners left bread for the poor of the parish to collect
  • - The original 1680 pulpit restored in 2008 (it is thought that the wood panelling in the church might once have all been this colour)
  • - A grand 1770 brass chandelier which is still lit by candles

Please see gallery below to view objects

Over the centuries, worshippers at the church have included Samuel Pepys, the Penn family and Pocahontas! Today the church is used on Sunday by the Elim Full Gospel Chinese Church and every Thursday lunchtime there is an Anglican Eucharist.  Court Assistant, Bishop Stephen Platten has taken up the position of Chaplain to St Martin-within-Ludgate.

The second floor gallery was converted in 2012 to accommodate offices for staff and is now the home of the Stationers’ Hub, where members and commercial clients can hire the space for meetings and events. Iqraa Hassan is the point of contact for bookings and already the Hub has seen a wide variety of activities from training sessions to art exhibitions and from regular meetings to wine tastings.

{gallery}History of St Martins{/gallery}

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The Worshipful Company
of Stationers
and Newspaper Makers

Stationers' Hall
Ave Maria Lane
London EC4M 7DD

Telephone: 020 7248 2934
Fax: 020 7489 1975