St Paul’s Harringay is blessed with a church building of stunning design filled with some of the finest examples of modern sacred art. The sacred space nurtured by the architecture and design of St Paul’s is open to all who wish to pray, worship, or who simply wish to stop in for a moment of reflection and rest.
‘With its simple rectangular body and pitched roof, it makes a distant allusion to a Greek temple.’ – Simon Jenkins on St Paul’s Harringay in England’s Thousand Best Churches
The church building for St Paul’s Church was completed in 1992. With its striking, modern design, St Paul’s is architecturally one of the most notable buildings in north London. Designed by Peter Jenkins of Inskip & Jenkins, the shape and contours of the building are inspired by the pattern of the ancient Greek megaron, or palace.
The design of the interior carefully controls the flow of natural light, resulting in natural light diffused toward the sanctuary, which draws the point of focus onto the reredos. This leaves a warm, soft glow of natural light in the nave.
In 2013, the National Churches Trust, along with the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and the 20th Century Society, selected St Paul’s Harringay as the 8th best example of modern church architecture in the United Kingdom. See here for the UK’s Best Modern Churches.
The reredos of stone above the altar captivates the eye. Made of travertine stained with copper and iron oxides, the reredos depicts Christ on the fragmented map of the Mediterranean world, which sits above skulls and bones of Golgotha. British artist Stephen Cox, RA created the reredos in 1993, titled ‘Christ the Saviour of the World’.
Stephen Cox also created the altar, made of breccia and Egyptian porphyry, which is held by three stone crosses, and echoes the three crosses of the reredos. Cox created the font in the church’s west end and the stations along the north and south walls, also made of breccia.
In the southwest corner of the church is an alms box carved from a single piece of wood, created by artist British artist John Makepeace. Nearby are stone sculptures of St Paul and St Antony of Padua, both of which were created by British artist Daniel Clahane.