Speaking about Jesus Christ

St Benet is one of only four churches in the City that escape bomb damage during the Blitz.

The church is designated a Grade I listed building.

St Benet becomes one of the City Guild Churches.

Fire damages the north side of the church and it closes for two years of repair work.

Her Majesty’s College of Arms celebrates its 500th anniversary with a procession to St Benet.

St Benet's celebrates 900 years since its foundation in 1111.


1879 onwards

The Officers of the College of Arms still have their own seats in St Benet’s and their personal banners hang from the gallery together with that of the Duke of Norfolk. At least 25 Officers are buried here.

In the 1870s the church was regarded as redundant and scheduled for demolition. Eminent Welsh Anglicans petitioned Queen Victoria to be allowed to use the building for services in Welsh. In 1879, Her Majesty granted the right to hold Welsh services here in perpetuity and this has continued ever since, with a service each Sunday morning.

In 1954, in the reorganisation of the City churches and parishes, St Benet became one of the City Guild churches as well as the Metropolitan Welsh Church.


The eminent composer Meirion Williams was the church organist in the 1960s and 1970s. As well as a Mass, Missa Cambrensis, he wrote a number of other works, including songs which are particular favourites of contemporary Welsh opera singers.

In 1971 a fire started by a vagrant damaged the north side of the church. During the repair work, necessitated mainly by smoke and heat damage, the Nineteenth Century organ was moved and rebuilt in its present (and original) position in the west gallery. When the church was reopened in May 1973, the congregation received a message from the Prince of Wales and trumpeters from the Royal Welsh Regiment blew a fanfare in celebration.

Today, the growing congregation at St Benet's remains committed to making known the good news of Jesus afresh to the current generation of the Welsh in London.