Anyone in the world with Internet access can now peek into the cathedral where Prince Charles married Lady Diana, while avoiding the expense of travelling to London, England.
St. Paul’s Cathedral has developed a web site which outlines the long history of the church, provides panoramic views of the interior and lists products for sale in the bookshop.
The church attracts three million visitors a year, four in five from overseas, states a news release from the London Press Service. For that reason, the cathedral would eventually like to make the site multilingual.
Although St. Paul’s is first and foremost a place for prayer and Christian worship, it also has a role to play on the Internet, says Dean John Moses. He said he hoped it would complement the cathedral’s other important role as a centre for learning and education through the many exhibitions and events it holds during the year.
Plans are already in the works to expand the site, in order to produce historical video and sound clips, online shopping and regular monthly updates.
The church has a long and storied history. The web site notes that the first St. Paul’s was built in 604 on the same grounds. After Vikings ransacked and burned the cathedral, it was rebuilt in 962.
A new church built of stone in a grand Gothic style was begun in 1087 and work was not finally completed until 1310. The Great Fire of London completely destroyed that cathedral in 1666.
The current church was completed in 1710 and has been home to many central events in England’s history including Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.
The web site is at http://stpauls.london.anglican.org.