St Bride's: Worship & Ministry

Historic Links

Wykyn de Worde.jpgSt Bride's is situated in an area rich in history. The plaque on the west wall to Wynkyn de Worde is a reminder that William Caxton's assistant chose this part of London in which to set up his press because here congregated the priests and monks of the Cathedral and monasteries such as Blackfriars, who needed printed books.

Samuel Pepys.jpgLater in the seventeenth century residents of the area included John Milton, Izaak Walton, John Dryden, Sir Richard Lovelace and Samuel Pepys who was baptised in the church. Later, the author Samuel Richardson became a printer in Fleet Street, and published Pamela, the first English novel. His friend Dr Samuel Johnson lived just north of Fleet Street, and was part of a literary circle which included James Boswell, Joshua Reynolds, Oliver Goldsmith and Alexander Pope.

Samuel_Johnson.jpgThe parish also has strong American connections because the parents of Edward Winslow, one of the Pilgrim Fathers and governor of Massachusetts, were married in St Bride's. Indeed, two hundred orphans from Bridewell Hospital in the parish were sent out in 1619 to populate the New World. The relationship with the United States continued into the twentieth century when American journalists contributed to the restoration of the church after the Second World War, and after the attacks in America on 11th September 2001 memorial services were held in St Bride's for a number of American firms. Our American connections, like our many historical links, help to make this London landmark a special place where its living tradition of worship reaches across the globe as well as down the centuries, and on into the future.