St Faith under St Paul’s

Another in the series on historic churches in the City of London …

By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of  the City, despite a number having been closed down during the Reformation. To be precise, according to  Parish Clerks’ records, there were 97 churches within the walls of the City, and 16 without, making a total of 113.

St Faith’s was originally built immediately to the north of St Paul’s Cathedral sometime in the early Medieval period.

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The church was demolished when the cathedral was extended in 1255-6, when the parishioners were given as their new place of worship the western end of the crypt, which came to be known as “St Faith of the Crypts” – as on the “Map of Medieval London” – or, more commonly, “St Faith under St Paul’s”.

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Later, during the reign of Edward VI, in 1551, the parishioners were given the by-then dissolved Jesus Chapel at the eastern end (etched by Wenceslaus Hollar in 1658).  At this time, many of them were, as Stow put it,  “stationers and others dwelling in St Paul’s churchyard, and the places near adjoining”

The church was burned down  in the Great Fire of 1666, and not rebuilt again afterwards, and the parish was merged with that of St Augustine Watling Street.

St Faith under St Paul's

Essentially only parish boundary markers  survive, one on St Paul’s itself and one on the wall of the Choir School in New Change, …

St Faith (site of)

… although a pump “erected by St Faith’s Parish 1819” also still stands, in St Paul’s Alley.

Faith was martyred in France in the third century.

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