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St. Paul's or Westminster?

My wife and I are visiting London this summer and will be in town on a Sunday. We want to go to church but don't know which church to choose. We are curious about your opinions on whether St. Paul's or Westminster is better for a Sunday morning service.

Posted by
28 posts

I would try to attend both, but if I had to choose one it would be Westminster Abbey. The feeling of history is so strong and the building seems so ancient. I was moved by the service more at Westminster, but I was there on a special occasion , Mondy Thursday (Thursday before Easter) so there was a procession to the chapel where you could linger and pray. They have evensong service most days at both cathedrals, and the experience is truly moving.

Posted by
215 posts

We like the service at St. Pauls. The boy's choir
is outstanding. The only problem is that the I
estimate more than half of the congregation, all
tourists, got up and walked out after the choir
sang midway through the service. Quite rude.

Posted by
3428 posts

Check out St. Mary's chaple. It is right outside Westminster. I find it much more personable. Also check out St. Martin's in the Field

Posted by
2023 posts

The poster above suggested St Marys church outside WM. That church is St Margarets and Churchill was married there as well as many other dignitaries. We have attended services at WM and St Pauls and enjoyed St Pauls the most. And yes, there are many tourists and some dressed poorly and inappropriately --ragged jeans, dirty sweatshirts, etc. The congregation was very small when we attended Westminster Abbey last year and the service was conducted off in a side area so the full atmosphere of the abbey could not be enjoyed. OTOH, St Pauls was more festive--the ushers are elegantly attired in coats with tails, red vests, and some type of gold medallion over laying the tie, and formal black patent leather shoes. It was a delightful service and I don't recall many people leaving early--if this happened they were very discreet. The gift shop there is a good one and many items are reasonably priced.

Posted by
290 posts

As a frequent visitor to London, I agree with Tom. Try to sightsee both, but the Westminster Sunday morning service is better. Just took my husband and brother in law there the second week of Dec 2007 & neither of them could pick one they liked better than the other. I gave them enlarged photocopies of the Rick Steves walking tours for both places and saved $7 & $8 per person not using the church's audio guides. Having been to both twice myself, I was able to use their touring time to pick up lunches from Marks & Spencer and get tickets for other sights such as the London Eye.

Posted by
2030 posts

I prefer gothic cathedrals -- the older the better, so I recommend Westminster Abbey also.