The Saxon Abbey of Barking founded the church of All Hallows by the Tower in 675 AD. An arch from the original Saxon church remains. Beneath the arch is a Roman pavement, discovered in 1926, evidence of city life on this site for the best part of two thousand years.
Following their execution on Tower Hill, numerous beheaded bodies were brought into the church including those of Thomas More, Bishop John Fisher and Archbishop Laud.
William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, was baptised in the church and educated in the schoolroom (now the Parish Room). In 1666 the Great Fire of London started in Pudding Lane, a few hundred yards from the church, and All Hallows survived through the efforts of Admiral Penn, William Penn's father.
John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the USA, was married in All Hallows in 1797.
In 1940 the church was bombed and only the tower and the walls remained, but the late Queen Mother laid a new foundation stone in 1948 and attended the re-dedication service some nine years later.The Vicar at the time was "Tubby" Clayton, founder of Toc H. The movement's lamp of maintenance still burns in the Lady Chapel and the founder's effigy and body rest in the church.
All Hallows continues an international ministry with a strong relationship with The Church of the Epiphany, New York, Christ Church, Philadelphia and the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, for whom All Hallows is the London church.
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