We believe there has been a church on this site since AD 606. There may well have been a church here even earlier. Southwark Cathedral is the oldest cathedral church building in London, and archaeological evidence shows there was Roman pagan worship here well before that.
Significantly, Southwark stands at the oldest crossing point of the tidal Thames at what was the only entrance to the City of London across the river for many centuries. It is not only a place of worship but also of hospitality to every kind of person: princes and paupers, prelates and prostitutes, poets, playwrights, prisoners and patients have all found refuge here.
The tradition continues in modern ways, as multitudes pass every day by road, river and rail. The last ten years have seen regeneration of this side of the river in an unparalleled way so that the church has a renewed role offering hospitality and quiet reflection to thousands of visitors. There are usually five services every day, with the congregations reflecting the age, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation and status diversities of a comprehensive world-class capital city; thus the variety of past centuries is multiplied and magnified many times over.
The Cathedral Chapter is dedicated to being what is known as an inclusive church - which means we seek to be open and welcoming to everyone.
Radical changes continue both within the church and its setting. In the final years of the last century the Millennium Buildings were created where the priory of the religious community once stood. In the first decade of the new century an additional railway viaduct will be constructed, the tallest building in Europe will stand nearby and the population of the area, both working and resident, will expand and change. It is an exciting church in which to work and worship, and an exciting location in which to be set.
This website is designed to assist you to learn more, be attracted to visit us, and understand that you are welcome to come here and follow the steps of millions of pilgrims before you as they have used this church for education, healing, study, conference, commerce, recreation, rest and worship as they have had need. We hope that you will do so as well.