There has been a church dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch in Lothbury, the street that runs along the north side of the Bank of England, since the 12th Century. In later centuries the parish was augmented by the incorporation of seven adjacent parishes, whose churches were lost through the Great Fire, the Second World War and the expansion of City institutions. The parish is now officially that of ‘St Margaret Lothbury and St Stephen Coleman St with St Christopher-le-Stocks, St Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange, St Olave Old Jewry, St Martin Pomeroy, St Mildred Poultry and St Mary Colechurch.’
The original church was rebuilt in 1440 at the expense of Robert Large, that year’s Lord Mayor, but destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. The current church designed by Sir Christopher Wren was completed in 1692. The tower by Robert Hooke was finished in 1700.
Among the noteworthy furnishings made for St Margaret’s are the high altar reredos, the pulpit and the baptismal font. Of the subsequent additions to the church the most splendid is the choir screen, one of only two in a Wren church, erected originally in the Church of All Hallows the Great, Thames St. in 1683-84 and moved to St Margaret’s in 1894 when that church was demolished. The pulpit sounding board is also from All Hallows.
The paintings of Moses and Aaron on either side of the high altar as well as the bust of Sir Peter Lemaire on the north wall of the nave are from St Christopher-le-Stocks, Threadneedle St. Other items, including the chapel reredos, the sword rests and several monuments, are from St Olave Old Jewry. St Margaret’s also possesses several items of plate from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries providing a link to all of the churches of its component parishes.
St Margaret’s remains a vibrant parish church in the heart of the City of London, providing a varied weekday ministry for all Christians in the area. It is the church of five livery companies (the Armourers and Brasiers, the Glovers of London, the Tylers and Bricklayers, the Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers and the Scientific Instrument Makers), two ward clubs (Broad St. and Coleman St.) and one professional institution (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales). It is also the parish church of the Bank of England and several local firms. All of these hold special services at various times in the year.