Recent developments

The passing years have seen significant changes in a church that has witnessed a musical tradition independent of the Abbey, has welcomed worshippers including John Milton and Samuel Pepys, and celebrated great occasions in the life of the nation and Commonwealth including a service of thanksgiving on VE Day.

The church ceased to be a parish in 1972 and since then has functioned as a chapel of the Abbey with worship that has evolved over the years. The most recent development is a proud one. St Margaret’s is now the home of a lively and talented girls’ choir who sing with the professional musicians of the St Margaret’s Consort. We will be hearing more and more from the new choir with more regular appearances at the Sunday evening Eucharist in St Margaret’s and at services in the Abbey.

A Quincentenary

Easter Day 2023 marked the five hundredth anniversary of the consecration of the present church building. A first church was built on this site in the 12th century as the monastic community made particular provision to serve a Christian community who wanted to gather at the Abbey. By the mid-fourteenth century, it needed repair and a hundred and fifty years later something more drastic was necessary. A new building was consecrated in September 1523. This church was a place where voices from beyond the monastic community could be heard. It has been a parish church and also became the focus of a significant ministry to the House of Commons.

Parliament Service

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle (second right), next to the former Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler at a Service for a New Parliament in St Margaret’s Church in 2020

In recent years, a close association with The Speaker of the House of Commons has been sustained alongside a recognition that the church now serves the whole parliamentary estate.