One of London’s most prominent heritage buildings requires urgent repair to keep the roof overhead and protect irreplaceable historic items and works of art.
The ends of some trusses, which provide the structural integrity for the Cathedral roof, had rotted. This damage means that those trusses could fail, which would cause the roof to collapse. Over time the trusses themselves have weakened and this is causing outward force against the Cathedral walls, which, also damaged by water, could result in their collapse.
We can accomplish more together than we ever can alone in helping shape our church’s—and community’s—future. St. Paul’s Cathedral is honoured to be a resource and support for the citizens of London. We aim to be good neighbours and continue to reach out to our community in numerous and diverse ways, facilitated by the fact that we are uniquely situated in the centre of the city.
In order to continue to serve Londoners and to preserve the significant historic, military and artistic treasures that St. Paul’s holds in trust for its citizens, the Cathedral family must call upon our neighbours and the wider community for assistance with this great challenge before us.
St. Paul's Cathedral from Cricket Square - circa 1860
Photograph # 32104027706961, photographer unknown
Ivey Family London Room - London Public Library
London, Ontario, Canada
May 11, 2017
Return to the Cathedral on May14th!
The Bishop-in-Charge and Wardens of St Paul’s Cathedral are pleased to announce that we are returning to the Cathedral for our worship service this Sunday, May 14th, 2017. You are cordially invited to join with us in this welcome and long-awaited joyous celebration.
Please note that we will gather in Cronyn Hall for the beginning of the service this Sunday, as we have been doing since November 20th, 2016, before processing into the Cathedral.
May 5, 2017
At last there is a light at the end of the tunnel! All the steel truss stabilization brackets have been installed and the final inspection by the engineer has taken place. Shores and scaffolding have been removed. The floor openings have been patched, the pews are being reinstalled, and professional cleaning is underway, preparing the Cathedral to be opened for normal use. The cosmetic work is yet to be addressed.
If you are able to assist in the replacing of our liturgical books, and other helpful tasks to prepare the cathedral for our return, please let Gord Rolleston know via the church office.
Many thanks to all who have helped in so many ways over the past 2 years, with your time, talents, generosity and prayers. Fundraising continues, as the final bills for the structural work must still be paid. Your ongoing support is deeply appreciated.
April 3, 2017
The community at the Cathedral is deeply grateful to the staff at Campus Creative, who have created a short video "St. Paul's Cathedral: A Worshiping Community" in support of Project Jericho and St. Paul's.
St. Paul's Cathedral, one of London, Ontario's most prominent historical buildings, is in the midst of a $700,000 project to repair and restore the roof. Bishop Barry Clarke talks about the effect of this project on the worshiping community at the Cathedral, and what this building means to the city of London.
March 23, 2017
This article by James Reaney was published in LondonFuse, a not-for-profit organization that promotes art, lifestyle and culture in London, Ontario and beyond. Thank you for your support of Project Jericho and St. Paul's!
Have You Heard About the Best Mugs and Marmalade in London?
March 10, 2017
We are thankful the damage to the truss ends was discovered before any more time had passed, and that it's possible to make structural repairs so that the Cathedral will stand for generations to come. Every donation to assist with the work is deeply appreciated, and we are grateful for everyone's continued support and prayers. (Photo Credit: Robertson Restoration)
March 5, 2017
Work to repair the trusses and reinforce the joints of the queen posts supporting St. Paul’s roof is progressing well, thanks to Robertson Restoration. It has been a challenge for workers to get the heavy steel brackets in place, however we’re happy to report that all of the five trusses now have had upper brackets installed, and about half have had bearing brackets installed. The brackets will be painted to look like the wood grain so they blend into the hammer beam construction of the trusses themselves. The tension ties are reinforcing the trusses while the repair work continues.
There is still work to be done on this complex project—we thank the parishes of the Diocese of Huron and friends from near and far for their continued prayers and support.
Photos from Robertson Restoration: 1) Before the steel is cut, workers create a template for each bracket--this one is to be installed on a queen post; 2) Queen post bracket installed; 3) A template for a bearing bracket installation on the truss; 4) Cutting and assembling the bracket; 5) Bearing bracket installed, with view of the truss end--it extends well into the brick of the wall; 6) view from above of a bearing bracket; 7) Bracket installed and painted, with temporary tension tie.
February 27, 2017
Work is progressing apace, and the community at St. Paul's hopes to be back in the Cathedral by Easter. We will be sharing more photos in the coming days. Meanwhile, we greatly appreciate the support of the London Free Press and our fellow Londoners.
St. Paul's Hopes for Resurrection
February 9, 2017
Robertson Restoration has installed the temporary tension cable ties on truss 3 and are working on truss 5 followed by truss 4, 1 and 2. These are necessary to provide the additional support along with the 20 shores for the repair work to continue on the joints and truss ends. The steel plates to stabilize the joints will blend into the wood and will not be noticeable so we're very happy with this news. We do not have a definitive date when we'll be back in the Nave and Chancel but we are hoping to return at Easter. Once the repair is completed, inspections need to be done, the 25 shores will then be removed, and the pews put back in place in the centre of the Nave. A thorough cleaning of the church will also need to be done. The good news is we're over halfway through this project and all the bills to date have been paid. We are so thankful that Project Jericho has received almost $300,000 in less than a year! Many thanks for your continued support and prayers.
February 8, 2017
London filmmaker Juan Andres Bello of Triana Media has created a short film in support of St. Paul's Cathedral and Project Jericho. We thank Juan for his generosity, for sharing a glimpse of our Cathedral with the community at large, and for helping to raise awareness of the ongoing work to repair and maintain this beautiful, historic building that serves as a cornerstone of our city.
January 20, 2017
The community of St. Paul's Cathedral is deeply grateful for the heartfelt support that has been offered by the people of the Diocese of Huron. Your prayers and encouragement, kind words and gestures are deeply appreciated.
This article was published on the Diocese of Huron website on January 17, 2017:
Renewed Hope for St. Paul's Cathedral
December 16, 2016
We’re relieved that all 20 shores have been installed, and just in time for winter’s first snow. The next step is to install the tension ties as this is an important part of our temporary restraining design to provide stability for the wooden trusses that support the Cathedral’s roof. Once these ties are in place, the reinforcing of the truss ends and joints with steel plates can proceed. It is expected the repair work on the trusses themselves will resume in early January 2017. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.
(Photo Credit: John Sproule)
December 1, 2016
The community at St. Paul's deeply appreciates the support of Bishop Linda and the parishes of the Diocese of Huron.
Please see Bishop Linda's video appeal, here: “Now our Cathedral needs our help”.
November 24, 2016
An Update to the Parishioners of St Paul’s Cathedral:
We are moving ahead with the repair work to the trusses in the nave of the church. Without cutting through the floor, 20 steel shores will need to be temporarily installed to support the five wooden trusses so the repairs can continue. These shores will prevent flexing in the centre of the trusses, especially if we get a substantial snow load this winter.
While this change in direction will increase the costs for Project Jericho, the increase will not be significant, which is good news for us. Once the steel shores are in place to support the bottom chords (the horizontal beams spanning the nave), Robertson Restoration can continue with reinforcing all the truss ends, on both the north and south sides, and other joints with steel plates and iron fasteners to create a safe space for worship.
The engineering firm Strik Baldinelli Moniz (SBM) will continue to monitor the trusses during these repairs and afterwards to make sure no further issues arise.
The plan is to install the additional shores by mid-December with the repairs resuming after that for about 4-6 weeks. The Cathedral’s leadership is optimistic this will stop any further deterioration and are confident the work can proceed in a timely fashion.
Even though worship services will continue in Cronyn Hall until at least the end of January 2017, we have come together with a renewed energy. Wherever we worship for Christmas, we will be with family and Cronyn Hall will look beautiful, the liturgy will inspire, and the music will be uplifting. There is a vitality about the place, and the outpouring of support from you, other churches, and the community has been heart warming.
God has been faithful to this community of faith for over 170 years, and by God's grace we will get through this.
November 21, 2016
We thank fellow Londoners for their concern and generosity as we work to preserve the Cathedral. Worship services at St. Paul's have moved to Cronyn Hall temporarily. We will provide updates as soon as possible. Thank you for your continued support and prayers.
CTV News London: Safety Concerns Force the Closure of St. Paul's Cathedral in Downtown London
November 20, 2016
The congregation of St. Paul's Cathedral is still gathering to praise God, worshipping in Cronyn Hall. We are blessed to have support from our church family and fellow Londoners as we work to save the Cathedral. If you wish to make a donation it would be graciously received.
London Free Press: St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral Ordered Closed Over Structural Concerns
November 19, 2016
To the Parishioners of St Paul’s Cathedral:
It is with deep concern that we write to you. Recent inspections at the Cathedral in regard to the truss repairs have revealed some alarming results. Robertson Restoration has been doing prep work on the trusses closest to the Great West doors and discovered there is severe damage to the truss ends such that the wood is more rotted than anticipated and splitting/cracking has occurred putting additional pressure on the internal structure and supports on the wall. The shores are meant to support the vertical load but this recent development is putting pressure on the horizontal bottom chord as well. At this time, the truss stability is compromised.
Therefore, Bishop Barry Clarke, Melissa Broadfoot, and John Sproule (Wardens) have made the difficult decision to close the Cathedral until further notice and with immediate effect.
Sunday services will be held in Cronyn Hall starting Nov 20th.
Safety is our primary concern and we believe the church, and the chancel, is not safe right now. Please do not go into the church because you are curious; there’s nothing to see.
St Aidan’s Chapel will host services as normal as that area is believed to be safe.
Bishop Barry and the Wardens will be meeting with the engineer and Gord Rolleston on Tuesday, November 22, to get a better understanding of our next steps. It will be a priority to provide further support for the trusses before repairs can continue.
It is anticipated the church will be unsafe for the foreseeable future but we will provide an update after the Wardens’ Meeting.
The engineer will need to consider how best to carry out the work so we can continue to try to support the roof. We don’t have a lot of information at this time to offer you but are committed to keeping you informed of this serious new development.
Please continue to keep the Cathedral’s leadership and Project Jericho in your prayers.
October 31, 2016
Work to stabilize the trusses in the Nave of St. Paul's continues, albeit off-site for the time being. The contractor's team is currently fabricating the steel components that are to be installed on three areas of each of the 6 trusses (as shown in areas A, B and C of the technical drawing attached), to repair and reinforce the beams.
Many thanks for everyone's continued generosity, encouragement and prayers.
September 18, 2016
The Project Jericho Leadership Team has published a newsletter in order to provide more information about Project Jericho and efforts to “Save the Cathedral”. Mostly, though, the newsletter speaks about how this challenge has revealed itself to be an opportunity, prompting each of us to reach out to one another and offer our support. We are strengthening our community of faith while at the same time reinforcing the historic building that shelters our worship services and the rich history of faithfulness in our community.
You can read the newsletter here.
September 8, 2016
Repairs to the trusses is proceeding, beginning in the next week or two and taking an estimated 10 weeks to complete. Additional scaffolding will be installed in the Nave. For now we expect services and events will continue as usual, however it is possible that at some point we may need to relocate to Cronyn Hall temporarily. Safety is our primary concern.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
August 31, 2016
Work on the guttering and cornices will continue for the next 6 weeks around the exterior of the Chancel. Once that’s done, we should have no further water infiltration.
Meanwhile, Bishop Barry and the Wardens at St. Paul’s just recently received recommendations from the engineer regarding what’s required to strengthen and stabilize the trusses in the Nave, and have been in discussion with the contractor about how this is to be carried out. More updates soon regarding next steps.
August 12, 2016
London Free Press: Historic St. Paul's Cathedral fighting to keep its walls from tumbling down
August 1, 2016
Project Jericho work is moving ahead! Thank you to everyone who has made donations so far.
Scaffolding and window covers have been removed from outside the Nave of St. Paul's as the guttering and downspouts in those areas have been repaired. Next on the list is the guttering on the Chancel. You'll still be able to enter from the Clarence Street door while work is going on. Soon more scaffolding will be going up on the inside of the Nave, to start work on the trusses. The building is still safe to use at this time and we’re open for worship and events, as ever.
Let’s keep the conversation going. Please share your stories, your memories, and your passion for St. Paul’s. You’re part of our history so let’s embrace the past and look forward to the future with anticipation, hope, and love.
St. Paul’s Cathedral must undergo serious and urgent repairs in order to remain open as a place of worship, to continue its work serving Londoners (including the city’s most vulnerable), to preserve precious history, works of art and the legacy of our forebears, and to enrich the lives of generations to come. The goal of the repairs is to establish long-term stability while maintaining the historic character and features on both the inside and the outside of the building.
To stabilize and strengthen the Cathedral’s trusses, replace damaged bricks, roof membrane and slates, and install new eaves troughs and downspouts, St. Paul’s must raise $700,000.
We are grateful for the generosity of volunteers who are organizing or hosting events, providing in-kind donations and giving of their time and talents to make these and other fundraising initiatives possible. You are a blessing to us all.
On July 18th Londoner's will have the opportunity to hear The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, England. Thanks to a generous donor, the total ticket sales purchased for this concert, and any donations above the $20 ticket price, will be matched up to $10,000. This is a perfect opportunity to let your contribution to Project Jericho go twice as far!
More information about the choir, the concert, and tickets can be found here: The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge.
The Saugeens Deanery generously hosted a fundraising dinner in support of Project Jericho on Friday, April 28, 2017.
$3,770 was raised at this wonderful event!
The community at St. Paul's is deeply grateful for the support of the Saugeens Deanery and all its members.
The "Music and Friends: A Celebration of St. Paul’s Cathedral" event on June 11th was amazing!
The community at St. Paul's is overwhelmed by the heart-felt support offered by our fellow Londoners. The music was incredible, and was enjoyed by a full house.
Many, many thanks to everyone involved: Walter Gretzky, Nazem Kadri, and Nick Paparella; Bishop Linda; Kevin George and his team from St. Aidan's; the generous sponsors; the musicians and their supporters; those who donated to the silent auction and those who bid on the wonderful array of items; St. Paul's parishioners, staff, and the Project Jericho team; and so many people who volunteered and sent their best wishes.
Over $40,000 was raised toward Project Jericho and preserving the Cathedral! May it long continue to be a gathering place for both worship and community events such as this.
St. Paul’s is London’s Cathedral... Your Cathedral.
St. Paul’s is a keeper of community heritage, and also of the rites and traditions practised by generations of Londoners. Alongside the Cathedral is the original site of the graveyard that was eventually moved to Woodland Cemetery (still owned and operated by St. Paul’s). Many people who helped build London are memorialized within the Cathedral, on its grounds and at Woodland, and numerous descendents of these founding citizens still live in our municipality.
The Cathedral has had ties to the broader history of London since the early 1800’s, including*:
The Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board erected a plaque on the Cathedral’s front lawn in 1969, acknowledging its history.
The Cathedral bells have rung over the city to mark important civic events, both joyful and sorrowful, calling citizens’ attention and gathering them together as a community on both civic and religious occasions. Records of significant tolls are scrawled on the walls within the bell tower. The bells at St. Paul’s have pealed to mourn the deaths of British Royalty, to celebrate the end of both World Wars and other conflicts, and, more recently, to mourn and call for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Heritage places such as St. Paul’s are a source of knowledge and memory. They teach us a great deal about our past, and this endows the community with experience, grace and inspiration to inform future paths. Conserving the Cathedral will enable its community to continue to be activists for social change, and will allow this beautiful place to endure as a venue for arts, music, and cultural activities, all of which work together to enhance civic pride.
Miller, Orlo. Gargoyles and Gentlemen: A History of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, Ontario, 1834-1964. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1966.
Except †: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/beck_adam_15E.html
As a charitable organization, St. Paul’s mission is to be a loving family, embracing all people and eagerly helping those in need by sharing ourselves and our resources. We seek to express our joy and faith through meaningful worship and Christian outreach, and use our Cathedral building creatively to fulfill our mission. The congregation at St. Paul’s is a welcoming family, a living community which demonstrates its faith through loving service. The Cathedral is also a place to celebrate life events, be yourself, share your talents, make a difference, honour tradition, make new connections and receive spiritual support.
Everyone is welcome at St. Paul’s. Those seeking peace, beauty, a connection to the past, a sense of belonging or a listening ear are welcome to visit or be a part of the community, as is anyone who is seeking a deeper faith experience. While traditions vary, people of faith can always find something in common in their love of God, and can express this through their sense of community, commitment to service or generosity of spirit. Differences of experience and expression are to be cherished, and the Cathedral’s doors are always open to new friendships. This place of worship, fellowship and shared history must remain open to all.
In 1846, when the oldest existing part of St. Paul’s was officially opened (the portion with the current damaged trusses), the London newspaper of the day, The Times, wrote:
May it stand long uninjured by time and unscathed by casualties,
to be a house of prayer, and a place of spiritual blessings
to generations yet unborn.
Your donation to help save the Cathedral will enable The Times’ 170-year-old prayer to be fulfilled.
Here at St. Paul’s we are committed to making a difference in people’s lives. Helping others in our neighbourhood is the best way for us to stretch beyond our personal needs and wants, both as individuals and as a church.
We choose to focus our concern on the health and wellbeing of others such as through St. Paul’s Social Services (SPSS). The SPSS’s Daily Bread Food Bank and Fellowship Centre have been serving and sustaining an average of 2,500 citizens monthly since the early 1980s. Other outreach programmes at St. Paul’s have been assisting London’s most vulnerable since its inception, such as the Core Area Project, which was founded in 1963 “out of a concern for the distressed” of the city.
Since 2012 our Knitting for Peace group has provided Londoners with over 5,000 hand-knitted items, providing physical warmth and emotional encouragement. For the past five years St. Paul’s has welcomed Londoners who seek the mentorship and fellowship offered by several 12-step support groups. St. Paul’s ran the Brio Music programme from 2011-2016, teaching music and providing healthy after-school snacks free of charge to children from London’s disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Our doors are open to the community for day-time rest and reflection, and the park offers respite in the midst of busy downtown London.
In order to continue to serve Londoners the St. Paul’s family must call upon our neighbours and the wider community for assistance with essential repairs to the Cathedral roof.
St. Paul's Cathedral is the Garrison Church of the 4th Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment (4RCR), where we hold special services for current and retired members. The Cathedral houses commemorative information of those who fell at various battles; one such monument commemorates the men of His Majesty's 23rd Regiment who perished at the Battle of Alma in the Crimean War in 1854. A memorial book on permanent display tells the stories of parishioners who fell in the First and Second World Wars.
We are the caretakers of the Military Colours of several former London regiments:
These Colours are laid up in the church, where they are deeply honoured.
Without the repairs to the roof we will not be able to continue to preserve our military history that is currently accessible to all within the shelter of St. Paul’s roof.
All parishioners and friends of St. Paul’s should know the facts regarding the urgently required repairs to the Cathedral’s roof, and so the Project Jericho Leadership Team has assembled and answered this list of Frequently Asked Questions. Having this information in mind will also be helpful for when friends, family members and neighbours ask questions about the repairs. If you have any questions that are not answered below, please forward them to Bishop Barry (via email or phone 519-434-3225). This document will be expanded upon when and as new questions arise.
What is Project Jericho?
Project Jericho is a fundraising campaign established to address water infiltration issues, structural problems in the nave of St. Paul’s and restoration of the interior of the Cathedral.
What is involved in the repairs to the trusses?
All 5 of the Nave trusses must have two of their joints reinforced, along with 5 truss-ends that have rotted. The two transept trusses will also need repairs.
When do we have to pay the bills?
30 days after receiving the invoices.
What if we don’t raise the money needed in time to pay the bills?
If bills are due they must be paid. This will be done by drawing on investments if necessary. This is far from ideal, and these funds must be reimbursed.
How are the temporary shores helping?
If one of the truss ends slips off the wall due to the outward pressure, the shore will “catch” the truss so it doesn’t fall. The shores help to bear the weight of the roof but they are not compensating for the outward force that is resulting from weakened truss joints.
How will we protect the artefacts and the organ during repairs?
As best we can! Items that are not built in could be put away, remaining items can be covered.
How and when will we repair the floors and walls?
The floors will be repaired as soon as possible after the trusses are stabilized and the temporary shores have been removed. The bricks, wood and plaster have to dry out before repairs and restoration work on the interior walls can be undertaken.
Will any of this work affect our heritage designation?
No, the work that is being undertaken is being carried out in such as way that it will not affect the Cathedral’s heritage designation. Heritage designations are based mainly on the external structure of a building. Any repairs to the church will be in keeping with the current aesthetic and the steel being used to reinforce the trusses will blend into the bottom chord.
Will there be a lot of dust and dirt in the Cathedral while the work is going on?
Dust will be localized to each truss end, each one being worked on individually. There will be some dust, certainly, but not all at once, and not an excessive amount as the ceiling will remain intact except around the truss-ends.
How long will the repairs take?
To repair the trusses: we hope it will take ten weeks, approximately, once construction begins. However, it may take longer depending on how the work progresses.
The repair and restoration of the interior will be carried out as funds are secured and once the interior has dried out sufficiently, likely not until 2018.
How will St. Paul’s parishioners and friends of the Cathedral be kept up to date regarding the progress of repairs and fundraising?
Announcements will be made during services, Updates will be included in service bulletins, news will be posted on bulletin boards, updates will be added to the St. Paul’s Website, Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsLondonCanada/) and Twitter feed (#CathedralSave), and a Project Jericho Newsletter is being circulated.
Who is on the Project Jericho leadership team (PJLT)?
Bishop Barry Clarke, Melissa Broadfoot, Stacey Clark, Rev. Rosalyn Elm, David Greenslade, Chris Hughesman, Sarah Kim (May-July 2016), Jenny McDonald, Vaughan Radcliffe (May 2016-March 2017), Ken Roberts, John Sproule, Martha Stratford.
Is the Cathedral eligible for funding from charitable organizations?
The PJLT has been and will be applying to a number of charities for assistance. However, many charities will not give funds to religious organizations to maintain space that is used primarily for worship, or for capital projects.
Why can’t we hold raffles or lotteries as fundraising activities?
Diocesan Policy as of July 2003: “It has been the stated policy of successive Bishops of Huron, supported by resolutions of Synod or Diocesan Council, to discourage the use of raffles, or any other forms of gambling, as a means of fund-raising within parishes.”
How can I help?
You can help in many ways, as you’re able:
How do I make a donation?