Friends' events

The Friends of the City Churches are currently offering a series of talks online via the Zoom video conferencing service ( Zoom is free and easy to join, and you can use it to stay in touch with friends and family, and enjoy many talks and other entertainment online.

Please book through the Eventbrite ticketing service ( This is also free and easy to join, and a gateway to all kinds of other events online. Booking helps us to predict numbers, and automates the delivery process so that you will receive booking confirmation, reminders and a clickable link to the talk shortly before the event.

With greater capacity for events online than in person, the Friends' Zoom lectures are open to the public to offer non-members a sample of our activities. We request a donation via Eventbrite which goes toward the work of The Friends of the City Churches.

Donations via our Virgin Money Giving account are always welcome to support the work of the Friends of the City Churches.

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving


Talks last about an hour, with questions and answers to follow.. As this content is the speakers' own intellectual property, often developed over years of research, these talks will not be recorded for later broadcast.

On Wednesday, 25 August 2021 at 2:00 pm BST, City Guide Ildiko Bita of Six in the City looks at the superb street art of the City, with the wealth of striking modern sculpture around St Paul's Cathedral.
Eventbrite booking:

On Thursday, 16 September 2021 at 3:00 pm BST, the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the City Churches will be held at St Mary Abchurch, Abchurch Lane, London EC4N 7BA. Friends who wish to attend are requested to contact the office to reserve a place.

On Tuesday, 28 September 2021 at 2:00 pm BST, City Guide Tony Tucker, author of the popular Visitor's Guide to the City of London Churches, surveys the splendours of the City churches from the medieval survivors of the Great Fire to the masterpieces of Wren and Hawksmoor, and Georgian churches which were the last to be built in the City as the population expanded beyond its ancient walls.
Eventbrite booking:

On Thursday, 7 October 2021, at 2:00 pm BST, papercut artist Chloe Campbell discusses her work in creating stunning modern silhouettes of the historic churches of the City of London on a single sheet of paper with a simple scalpel. The talk will begin with a brief overview FCC Trustee Signe Hoffos of the art of paper cutting from ancient China to Mary Delany.
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On Wednesday, 20 October 2021, at 2:00 pm BST, City of London Guide Jill Finch looks at how London started to rewrite its history after the Great Fire of 1666, rebuilding the post-Fire City to emerge like a phoenix from the ashes.
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On Tuesday, 16 November 2021, at 2:00 pm GMT, architectural historian Dr Mark Kirby discusses the magnificent woodcarving above the altar of St Mary Abchurch, the only authenticated work by the master carver Grinling Gibbons in the parish churches of the City, and the fascinating story of how the design and decoration of the post-Fire churches helped to further a vision of a newly unified Church of England after a century and more of upheaval and reform.
Eventbrite booking:

On Monday, 22 November 2021, at 1:00 pm GMT, the redoubtable Tooting Broads present a lunchtime concert of music from the Baroque to the 20th century. Flautists Jane and Cressida will be accompanied by pianist Norman McSween in an eclectic and entertaining programme to lift your spirits as we celebrate Cecilia, patron saint of music, whose feast day falls on November 22.
Eventbrite booking:

Save the date: the Friends of the City Churches annual Carol Service on Monday, 13 December 2021.

The Grinling Gibbons Society will present a series of live events at St Mary Abchurch to mark the tercentenary of the death of master carver Grinling Gibbons (4 April 1648 - 3 August 1721). The magnificent reredos above the communion table at St Mary Abchurch is the only authenticated work by his hand in the City of London parish churches.

On Friday, 30 July 2021 at 3:00 pm, evensong at St Mary Abchurch commemorated the life of Grinling Gibbons, who died on 3 August 1721. The service was led by the Friends' Chaplain, the Revd David Goodburn, in the presence of the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, who gave the sermon.

Art and Ornament, an exhibition of painting and wood carving, opens at St Mary Abchurch on the morning of Monday, 2 August 2021, running until Friday, August 20, when it transfers to The Dutch Church for two weeks.

Art and Ornament at St Mary Abchurch, Abchurch Lane, London EC4N 7BA
August 2 to August 20
Monday to Friday, 8:00 to 4:00, weekends by appointment
Grinling Gibbons connection: correspondence in his own hand demonstrates that Gibbons carved the screen above the communion table, but had to press for payment once the carving was "folle Anof of work". His spelling in these and other letters suggests that he could write both Dutch and English, and spoke with a Dutch accent.

Art and Ornament at The Dutch Church, 7 Austin Friars, London EC2N 2HA
August 23 to September 3
Monday to Friday, 11:00 to 4:00, weekends by appointment
Closed August 30 (Bank Holiday Monday)

Grinling Gibbons connection: Gibbons was born in Rotterdam on 14 April 1648 to English parents, James Gibbons (a freeman of the Drapers' Company) and Elizabeth Grinling (daughter of an English tobacco merchant in Rotterdam). He probably came to England c1667, but his career began in earnest when he was 'discovered' by the diarist John Evelyn near the royal dockyard in Deptford in 1671.

Please visit the Grinling Gibbon Society on for more information and events, including the free exhibition Centuries in the Making at Bonham's, 101 New Bond Street, from August 3 to 27.

Grinling Gibbons Concerts

A series of live rush-hour concerts at St Mary Abchurch will explore the words and music of Gibbons' time. Tickets (£10, concessions £8) must be reserved in advance by contacting, and paid in cash or by credit card on the door. Each concert will last approximately one hour.

Thursday, 5 August 2021 at 6:30 pm
Violinist Krysia Osostowicz, leader of the Brodsky Quartet, will play Sonata Nº 2 in A minor and Partita Nº 2 in D minor, composed in 1720 by Johann Sebastian Bach, on an instrument made that same year.

Concerts in 2022:

Thursday, 28 April 2022 at 6:30 pm
In 'Gibbons, A Musical Man, 1648-1721', ArchiCantiores perform words and music by James Shirley, Robert Johnson, John Evelyn and John Donne, inter alia, led by Jonathan Louth, Advisor to the Legacy Project of the Grinling Gibbons Tercentenary.

On Thursday, 5 May 2022 at 6:30 pm
Mezzo-soprano Catherine King and harpist Frances Kelly perform songs of love, passion and devotion by Blow, Banister, Croft, Purcell, Geminiani and Handel.

On Thursday, 19 May 2022 at 6:30 pm
Woodwind students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, directed by Ian Wilson, Head of Woodwind, perform a concert for the Turners' Company . The programme will feature instruments and music from the time of Gibbons, including examples seen within his carvings.

On Thursday,  26 May 2022, 6:30 pm
A concert for Grinling Gibbons with students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama led by Christopher Suckling, Head of Historical Performance.

Stained glass window


Wooden Boss