St Michael, Cornhill
St Michael, Cornhill is a medieval parish church in the City of London with pre- Norman Conquest parochial foundation. The medieval structure was lost in the Great Fire of London and the current church was designed by Sir Christopher Wren between 1670-1677.

The oblong church is 80 by 60 feet. The church has one of the oldest sets of churchwarden's records in the City of London, which are now kept in the Guildhall Library. Wren's tower was replaced in 1715 with a pinnacled structure (completed in 1722), officially by Wren (who was 90 at the time) but the design bears a strong resemblance to the work of Wren's apprentice Nicholas Hawksmoor, who would create similar towers on Westminster Abbey's West End. The Gothic styled porch (1858”“1860) facing Cornhill is a Victorian addition by Sir George Gilbert Scott. Scott also restored the interior, which included repainting and disposal of the old furnishings, installed a new reredos, pulpit, pew ends, and inserted stained glass by Clayton and Bell. Few original elements of the church were retained from its Victorian re-imagining but the 1672 font given by James Paul did survive, although a new balustrade was added. The church escaped serious damage in World War II. The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950. The current Rector is the Revd Dr Peter Mullen. The Lay Curate is Rupert Meacher. The Parish Clerk is John Gaze. The Beadle is Nicholas Dixon. The PCC includes Alderman Sir David Howard (formerly Lord Mayor of London). The Patrons of the living are (and have been since 1503) the Worshipful Company of Drapers. A 128-page guide to the church and its history was published in 2007: 'St Michael's Cornhill' by Peter Hughes ( ISBN 0-9547157-4-8).

Notable parishioners
  • John Stow, author of A Survey of London (1598)
  • James Paul
  • Thomas Gray the poet, famous for his Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard , was born in a milliner's shop in 1716, adjacent to St Michael's and was baptised in the Church.
  • Martin Neary, later Organist of Westminster Abbey, was baptised in St Michael's.
  • Fay Weldon, the feminist writer, was a member of the congregation for some years.

The organ, built by Rushworth and Dreaper, has been awarded a Historic Organ Certificate of Recognition by the British Institute of Organ Studies. A specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.

List of organists
  • Isaac Blackwell 1684 - 1699
  • Walter Holt 1699 - 1704
  • Philip Hart 1704 - 1723
  • Obadiah Shuttleworth 1723 - 1734
  • Joseph Kelway 1734 - 1736
  • William Boyce 1736 - 1768 (also appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1755 and organist at the Chapel Royal in 1758)
  • Theodore Aylward Sr. 1769 - 1781 ( Gresham Professor of Music 1771, and organist of St. George's Chapel, Windsor 1788)
  • Richard John Samuel Stevens 1781 - 1810
  • George William Arnull 1810 - 1849
  • Richard Limpus 1849 - 1875
  • Edward Henry Thorne 1875 - 1891
  • Williamson John Reynolds 1891 - 1900 (afterwards organist of St Martin in the Bull Ring, Birmingham)
  • George Frederick Vincent 1900 - 1916
  • Harold Darke 1916 - 1966
  • Richard Popplewell 1966 - 1979
  • Jonathan Rennert 1979 - current

List of assistant organists
  • Andrew Lucas (afterwards sub organist of St Paul's Cathedral then Master of the Music of St Albans Abbey)
  • James Cryer (afterwards organ scholar of Westminster Abbey & St John's College, Cambridge)
  • Adrian Lenthall (afterwards organ scholar of Westminster Abbey & Emmanuel College, Cambridge)
  • John Hatton (then a student of the Royal College of Music)
  • Matthew Morley (currently Assistant Director of Music, St Bride's, Fleet Street, London)
  • Lee Ward (currently director of the Schola at The London Oratory School)
  • Ross Cobb (Director of Music, Christ Church, Clifton Down and now Director of Music, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney)
  • Alistair Reid (after a spell in the USA, he is now Assistant Organist of Coventry Cathedral)
  • Nigel Thomas (then a student of the Royal College of Music)
  • James Hills (currently director of music at Clifton College)
  • Jonathan Bunney (now Organist of St Giles-in-the-Fields, London)
  • Andrew Earis (currently Director of Music at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London)
  • Duncan Ferguson (currently Director of Music of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh (Episcopal))
  • Robert Smith (currently Director of Music at St Mary-at-Hill, London)
  • Gregory Drott currently in post

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via