Historical Day for St Margaret's Church and The Abbey
Wednesday, 9th April 2003
On Wednesday 9th April, St Peter's flag will be flown from St Margaret's tower to mark the 480th anniversary of its consecration of 9 April 1523.
The first St Margaret's church was built by the monks of Westminster Abbey in the latter part of the 11th century so local people could receive all the sacraments and ministrations of the Church, and leave the monks in the Abbey undisturbed.
The church is dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch, a third-century martyr who was extremely popular in the middle ages.
Towards the end of the 15th century the church had fallen into such dilapidation that it was virtually rebuilt by Robert Stowell. It had restorations in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and the façade was encased in Portland stone in 1735.
Although not official a parish church, St Margaret's has long been associated with the House of Commons, a relationship which dates from Palm Sunday 1614 when the whole House took Holy Communion there.
The parish of St Margaret's originally covered a large area, Marriages registered at the church include those of Samuel Pepys, who married there in 1655, John Milton (1656) and Winston Churchill (1908).