A Brief History

Some 100,000 people currently work in Canary Wharf, and a large part of this centre of business and finance lies in the parish of St Anne's Church. Several years ago St Anne's began to run lunchtime meetings in pubs and winebars to reach out to those working in the Wharf. The work developed with the support of St Helen's Bishopsgate, but further growth was hampered for lack of a permanent venue on site.

The vision to use a barge was realised with the formation of the St Peter's Canary Wharf Trust and the purchase of a Dutch freight barge in 2003. The barge was refitted in the Netherlands and brought across the North Sea under its own power in the summer of that year - a journey which was chronicled in a BBC documentary shown in the autumn. The barge now has a permanent mooring at the heart of Canary Wharf in West India Quay.

A permanent full-time Church of England minister was appointed by the Trust in July 2004 and licensed by the area bishop to head up the staff team of four. September 2004 saw the launch of a new Sunday evening congregation with its own programme of meetings and groups to serve the many thousands who now live in the area.

Although St Peter's Barge is the only floating church in London, and to our knowledge in the UK, it is not the first floating church in the capital.  That distinction goes to The Episcopal Floating Church which operated from 1825-45 from the ship Brazen.

There were also other floating churches in the 19th century in Oxford, Scotland and in New York.

Click here to find out why St Peter's Barge wears the Blue Ensign.

St. Peter's Barge