St. Stephen Walbrook is considered one of Wren’s finest churches in London, and was where he practiced the designs and techniques he would later use in St. Paul’s Cathedral. It is also the original home of The Samaritans, the listening service which has saved so many lives. Easy to miss from the outside, it is impressive and unique on the inside, with a stunning domed ceiling, and it is definitely worth a visit.
With pale, mismatched stone, and flanked on all sides by towering modern buildings, St. Stephen looks entirely unprepossessing from the outside, and it would be easy to miss as you walk past.
A Starbucks is jammed right up to the side of it with tables and chairs spilling out onto the pavement, making the church fade into insignificance against this modern onslaught.
Yet this church is considered to be one of Wren’s finest churches, where he experimented with designs for his masterpiece, St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The building may be muted on the outside, but as you step inside after climbing the steps, a completely unexpected delight awaits you and I couldn’t believe I had never heard about this church before. The brightness and light of the Baroque interior makes you realise that you have discovered one of London’s unknown joys.