St Mary Magdalene, Paddington

St Mary Magdalene, Paddington, is a Grade I listed Anglican church at Rowington Close, London, dedicated to Jesus' companion, Mary Magdalene.

St Mary Magdalene

The parish was established in 1865 and work on the church started in 1867. Although complete in 1872, a fire destroyed the brand new roof so the first Mass in the new building could not be celebrated until St Mary Magdalene's Day, 22 July 1873. The church was consecrated after completion of interior decoration on 21 October 1878.

The architect was George Edmund Street, and this church is considered to be his masterpiece.[1] It includes notable stained glass by Henry Holiday and a later crypt chapel by Ninian Comper.

The painted ceiling of the nave, the work of Daniel Bell, was cleaned and restored during 2018–19, with the help of a grant from the Lottery Heritage Fund.[2] With assistance from the Paddington Development Trust, an extension was also built, containing additional spaces and facilities intended for use by the wider local community.[3]

Cultural associationsEdit

St Mary Magdalene is thought to be the church that inspired the composer John Ireland to become an Anglo-Catholic.[4] The novelist Barbara Pym was a member of the congregation in 1971–72, while living in Queen's Park.[5] P. D. James is thought to have used the church as a model for one of the locations in her novel A Taste for Death.[6]

The church and surrounding neighbourhood were used as a location in the 1968 movie Secret Ceremony with Elizabeth Taylor.[7] Scenes from the 2012 film of Les Misérables were also filmed there.[8]


  1. ^ "Architecture". St Mary Magdalene's Church. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Stunning ceiling revealed at St Mary Magdalene, Paddington". Caroe Architecture. 23 May 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  3. ^ Jay Merrick (24 October 2019). "A broad church: Dow Jones's restoration of St Mary Magdalene". Architects Journal. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  4. ^ Lewis Foreman (2011). The John Ireland Companion. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. p. 233. ISBN 978-1-84383-686-5.
  5. ^ Barbara Pym (21 November 2013). A Very Private Eye: An Autobiography in Diaries and Letters. Pan Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4472-6540-5.
  6. ^ William Reynolds; Elizabeth Ann Trembley; Elizabeth Trembley (1994). It's a Print!: Detective Fiction from Page to Screen. Popular Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-87972-661-4.
  7. ^ St Mary Magdalene's Church Paddington: Filming on official website. Retrieved 27 March 2018
  8. ^ "Where is Les Misérables filmed?". Find That Location. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2020.

Coordinates: 51°31′21″N 0°11′21″W / 51.5225°N 0.1891°W / 51.5225; -0.1891