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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
The Actors' Church
The parish church of Covent Garden since 1633
Location: Bedford Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9ED
Description: 'St Paul's Church', also commonly known as the Actors' Church, is a church located in Covent Garden.
As well as being the parish church of Covent Garden, the church gained its nickname by a long association with the theatre community.
In 1631 Inigo Jones was commissioned by Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford to design a church. Work on the church began that year and was completed in 1633, at a cost of 4000 pounds, with it becoming consecrated in 1638. In 1645 Covent Garden was made a separate parish and the church was dedicated to St Paul.
The portico of St Paul's was the setting for the first scene of Shaw's Pygmalion, the play that was later adapted as the musical My Fair Lady.
The church is surrounded by an award-winning garden, providing an area of tranquility within busy central London.
In 2002, the church hosted the first of two weddings for famous pop singers Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale.