St Vedast Foster Lane
Saint Vedast-alias-Foster, a church in Foster Lane, in the City of London, is dedicated to Vedast (Foster is an Anglicisation of his name ), a French saint whose cult came to England through contacts with Augustinian clergy.

The original church of St Vedast was founded before 1308 and was extensively repaired in the seventeenth century . Although the church was not completely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, it was restored by 1672 on parochial initiative. However, the church required substantial reconstruction by the office of Sir Christopher Wren between 1695 and 1701, with only small parts of the older building surviving to be incorporated, most noticeably parts of the medieval fabric in the south wall which were revealed by cleaning in 1992-3. The spire, considered the most baroque of all the City spires, was added in 1709-12 at a cost of £2958, possibly to the designs of Nicholas Hawksmoor. The organ was built by Renatus Harris in 1731, originally for St Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange. Wren's church was gutted a second time by firebombs during the London blitz( ) of 1940 and 1941. . A proposal by Sir Hugh Casson to leave the ruins as a war memorial was not implemented. The post-war restoration within the old walls was undertaken by Stephen Dykes Bower. He reorientated the interior in a collegiate chapel style with seating down each side with a side chapel in the former South aisle and he squared the old walls which were not rectanglular in plan so that the altar now faces the nave squarely. He reused fittings from other destroyed City churches, including the richly carved pulpit from All Hallows Bread Street and the font and cover from St Anne & St Agnes. Dykes Bower commissioned the Whitefriars glass windows in the East End, which are largely opaque to hide tall buildings behind and to disguise the fact that the East wall is a wedge in plan. The work was completed the work in 1962. An aumbry in the south chapel is by Bernard Merry and the organ is 1955 by Noel Mander, in the 1731 case. Dykes Bower also built a Georgian-style rectory, adjacent to the church, on Foster Lane, in 1959 which has an important mural by Hans Feibusch in the first floor room. A niche in the internal courtyard of the building contains a carved-stone head by sculptor Jacob Epstein. . The church is noted for its small but lively baroque steeple, its small secluded courtyard, stained glass, and a richly-decorated ceiling. It also has a set of six bells that are widely regarded as being the finest sounding six in London. The church was designated a Grade I listed building on January 4, 1950. The rectory was listed as a Grade II building on July 15, 1998.

Building Activity

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