Holy Sepulchre is part of the HTB Network of churches, following the establishment of a new partnership in late 2013 with a planting team from HTB and St. George’s Holborn. The team re-started a regular Sunday congregation after a 30-year gap, started up a new Tuesday lunchtime service aimed at local workers, and moved the existing mid-week Choral Evensong from monthly to weekly.
We continue to have strong connections with HTB, with groups from Holy Sepulchre attending the annual Alpha Leadership Conference, and HTB’s annual Focus holiday, and with Alpha as one of our core ministries.
The City of London
Holy Sepulchre is in the City of London, which is the name given to the area of the ancient and medieval city. Today ‘the City’ (or ‘square mile’) is the financial, business and legal heart of London and the Corporation of London are also our local authority. We are represented by a team of ‘Common Councilmen’ for our Ward of ‘Farringdon Without’, headed up by an Alderman, Gregory Jones QC.
The south aisle of Holy Sepulchre is the regimental chapel of the Royal Fusiliers (now part of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers) and the church garden is a memorial garden for the regiment.
Designed by Sir Charles Nicholson, and lined by past Regimental Colours and panels in memory of deceased members of the regiment, the chapel was dedicated in 1950, and Holy Sepulchre has been the Royal Fusiliers home church ever since.
Made famous in the nursery rhyme ‘Oranges and Lemons’ as ‘the Bells of Old Bailey’ (which is across the road), Holy Sepulchre has one of the most significant bell towers in the country.
The first ever ‘peal’ of bells was rung at HolySepulchre in 1690, and the church has maintained an excellent ring ever since. In the mid-1980’s the bells were restored, and the original 10-bell ring was expanded to 12.
We are lucky to be one of the home towers of the Ancient Society of College Youths, Britain’s leading bell-ringing society, and have an active ringing community.
St. John’s College Oxford
St. John’s College Oxford have been our ‘patron’ at Holy Sepulchre since 1636. Over the years the role of patron has gone through many changes and iterations, but these days patrons are primarily involved in appointing new rectors (or vicars) and being a supportive friend and partner to the church. St. John’s have been active and supportive as patrons over the years, particularly at the moment through the sponsoring of one of our choral scholarships.
DIOCESE OF LONDON
Throughout its history Holy Sepulchre has been a part of the Church of England Diocese of London and this remains core to our identity today. It is exciting to be part of a larger whole and to be able to work with other churches in sharing the good news of Jesus with our City.
The establishment of a new partnership at Holy Sepulchre in 2013 was in part the result of the Diocese’s church planting strategy, as outlined in the Diocesan Vision Capital Vision 2020.