St Olave Hart Street


Pictures of St Olave's Hart StreetThe early Livery Companies had strong religious connections. They were often closely associated with their local parish church or religious house and sometimes had their own private chantry chapel, in which the Company prayed for the souls of deceased members.
 
Chantries were dissolved by King Edward VI, though The Clothworkers' Company was too recent a foundation to have been much affected. The religious dimension, however, continued, with many of the Company’s Trusts being associated with sermons or charitable distributions in churches in London and elsewhere.
 
Until the 20th century, the parish church of The Clothworkers' Company was St Dunstan-in-the-East, although Company masses were often held at the Chapel of St James in the Wall, Monkwell Street, bequeathed by William Lambe in 1568.  St Dunstan’s was destroyed by bombing in 1941 and is now a garden-filled shell.

Pictures of statue and pulpit in St Olave's
Parochial reorganisation placed Clothworkers' Hall in the parish of St Olave, Hart Street. This church was also damaged in the war but was rebuilt in the same form, making it now the smallest of the City's intact medieval churches.
 
It is particularly appropriate that The Clothworkers' Company should now be associated with St Olave's, whose rector is the Company Chaplain, because it was the parish church of Samuel Pepys, Master 1677-8.
 
The Company holds two services at St Olave’s each year – the Election Service in June and a Carol Service on St Thomas’ Eve in December, and supports the Church through annual grants towards maintenance of the fabric.