St Mary Abchurch is a beautifully proportioned little Wren church. Set back in its own yard (Abchurch Yard) from the bustle of Cannon Street, it is a haven of quiet for reflection and prayer. Do come in.
The Church is open at various times on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; see ‘Services and Events’ for details. The Wednesday Holy Communion is a short service, usually about half an hour, from the Book of Common Prayer. It is followed by tea and biscuits.
St Mary Abchurch: A brief history.
CHURCH stood on this site in the 12th century but in the Great Fire of 1666 it was burnt down. In 1681 work was begun on the present building, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and it was completed in 1686. The church has changed very little in appearance since then. The dome painting was added in 1708. It depicts the worship of heaven, with, in the centre the Divine Name in Hebrew characters. The chief glory of the church is the magnificent reredos with its limewood carvings by Grinling Gibbons is unique in that it is not only the largest but the only authenticated work of his in any City church (St Paul’s Cathedral excepted). The gilded ‘Pelican in her piety’ appears both on the reredos and in the original copper weathervane, now above the north door. This emblem is doubly appropriate as being the badge of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, the patrons of the living, and representing Christ, who feeds us with his own Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
(Under the City of London Guild Churches Act of 1952, St Mary’s ceased to be a parish church, and its territorial parish was joined to that of St Stephen’s Walbrook.