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St Nicholas Abbey

St Nicholas Cole Abbey

St Nicholas Cole Abbey is named after Nicholas of Myra, a fourth century saint and bishop from a town now situated in Turkey. His reputation for generosity, secret gift-giving and acts of kindness has made him the model for Santa Claus. He is patron saint of fishermen, sailors and children.

The original church was first recorded in 1144. The word ‘cole’ comes from a medieval word ‘coleharbour’ which means a shelter from the cold. The church served the fishermen and fishmongers who lived and sold their fish nearby. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and was the first church to be rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren.

Along with many other buildings, the church suffered severe bomb damage during the Blitz of London in the Second World War. It was reconstructed during 1961-2.


  • What can be destroyed and what can be rebuilt?
  • How can we learn from the history and life of St Nicholas Cole Abbey?


  • Design a stained glass window for St Nicholas Cole abbey that includes symbols of the six major world faiths, and also expresses the idea of young people living harmoniously together in a happy peaceful society.

Queen Victoria Street

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