CHAPTER HOUSE - MODERNISATION & RESTORATION THE CHAPTER HOUSE The Chapter House The mission of St Paul’s is to draw people into awareness of the lo...
Author: Kathleen Wade
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The Chapter House The mission of St Paul’s is to draw people into awareness of the love of God, to deepen the discipleship of those who have already found their faith, and to provide opportunities for continuing conversion, the lifelong process of turning towards God. St Paul’s Cathedral receives no financial or other support from the government, and minimal support from the Church of England (part of the salary of one Priest). All of our activities, from the twenty two regular services we hold each week, to the great national services such as the celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, are paid for from the money we raise through visitor income, commercial activities and fund-raising. It costs approximately £5 million each year simply to maintain the fabric of the building, on top of which are the costs of music, and the many different aspects of our Christian worship, teaching and missional service to the Diocese of London, as well as any new capital or programme developments we wish to pursue. We have a Friends organisation, which has about 3,000 members and provides steadfast support, but we find with each passing year that the demands upon our finances grow, and our supporters are ever more hard pressed to meet them. The Chapter House is the brick built house opposite the Cathedral on the south side of Paternoster Square. It was designed and built in 1715 by Sir Christopher Wren and his son, as the last part of their commission for St Paul’s Cathedral. It has been used ever since by the Cathedral for various purposes, including accommodation for the Dean and various members of Chapter. It suffered damage from bombing in the Second World War, and was redeveloped for use as offices in the 1950’s. We are now renovating the Chapter House to create for the first time a modern, ecologically efficient office, which will bring together all staff from across the Cathedral on one site. The total cost of this project is £4.3 million, of which we still need to raise £1M. The following pages will give you more information about the project, and at the back you can find out about how to get more involved with the project and St Paul’s Cathedral generally.

Improving environmental efficiency and upgrading services are key motivations behind the Chapter House regeneration project. The existing glazing is to be replaced with conservation grade double glazed units in order to upgrade the thermal and acoustic performance of the windows. New draught seals will also be introduced into the frames. Insulation will be introduced wherever possible. Heat will come predominantly from Ground Source Heat Pumps recently installed as part of the works to the Undercroft between the Chapter House and Cathedral. This provides a sustainable heating and cooling system for the building fabric, staff and contents. All of these measures will reduce carbon emissions and improve the performance of the building. Chapter House Basement Plan

Undercroft Ground Source Heat Pumps




Accessibility Inclusive design is a high priority. The ground floor entrance level of the Chapter House is set above external paving level. To enable access for mobility-impaired users, it is proposed that a platform lift be installed. The existing west stairs will be dismantled and reconstructed in a new location, moved outward to create a new landing by the main front entrance door. The proposals also include a new internal passenger lift to provide access to all floors, plus accessible WCs throughout, as well as a new secondary escape stair to bring the building up to best practice standards and current regulations. Existing


The Listed Chapter House is the administrative heart of the Cathedral. Refurbishing the Chapter House will provide accessible, upgraded and more appropriate accommodation to support the Mission and operations of St Paul’s Cathedral. It includes the conservation and re-presentation of both Chapter Rooms along with fundamental building conservation work and emphasises the processional route through the building, from the entrance hall to these key spaces.

Large Chapter Room

Small Chapter Room




Redefining the Work Environment One key aspiration of the Chapter House refurbishment project is to streamline the operations and location of various departments within the building. The project proposes an additional storey of accommodation to the building. This would not be the first instance of a third floor addition to the Chapter House. While this serves as a precedent for an extra storey, current proposals are intended to be far more sensitive and contained within a low pitched lead roof much closer in form to the original. The second floor is currently comprised of small cellular rooms which were designed for residential accommodation in the 1950s but will be converted into an open plan office space for departments to work in an integrated way, while maximising future flexibility.

The conservation of a building with the merits of the Chapter House involves many crafts and a high level of technical skill. The strategy for cleaning the facades has been devised following cleaning trials carried out by the Cathedral’s Consultant Conservator, David Odgers. This will include repairs and light cleaning of the brickwork with super-heated steam, cleaning of the stonework to remove sulphation and to better reveal the legibility of the architectural features and the white paint to the oak window frames will be removed to restore the appearance, as intended. Where repairs are required these will be carried out using traditional methods and techniques, appropriate to the building fabric.



How to Help Thank you for taking the time to read this brochure. We hope you will be able to support the project to redevelop the Chapter House. By doing so you will be helping to reduce our carbon footprint and deliver our mission more effectively and at a lower cost. St Paul’s Cathedral receives no government subsidy. We depend upon our commercial activity and the generosity of our supporters to support our mission, pay for the costs of maintaining the Cathedral, and all new developments. The St Paul’s Cathedral Foundation raises money to pay for the maintenance of the Cathedral, and the costs of delivering our mission. The Registered Charity Number is 1082711. If you would like more information please call: Matthew Lagden on 020 7246 8329 or email him at [email protected]

Thank you for your support.