August 2, 2013

The (Real) Cripplegate, Today

by Mike Riccardi

IMG_0435Over the last week, I’ve had the privilege of traveling to London to minister to the dear group of saints at a wonderful church called GraceLife London. I wrote a bit about that just a few weeks ago. The ministry here is going well. The dedicated brothers and sisters of GraceLife London are digesting as much as they can of Biblical Counseling, Hermeneutics, and Old Testament Survey each and every day.

But by God’s grace, I’ve not only had the privilege of ministering in London. I’ve had the immense privilege of seeing quite a bit of London as well. Westminster Palace and the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard, the Tower Bridge, the Monument to the Great Fire of 1666, and more. And then there have been notable places of Christian history, like Smithfield where Mary supervised the burning of the martyrs, Bunhill Fields where Bunyan, Owen, Isaac Watts, and Susanna Wesley are buried, Moorfields where Whitefield preached to 20,000 people in the open air, the Metropolitan Tabernacle where the Prince of Preachers heralded the Gospel year after year, and Westminster Chapel where Martyn Lloyd-Jones carried on the faithful practice of Expository Preaching through the 20th century.

But a special highlight for me was to travel to St. Giles Church, which is where the original Cripplegate stood at the old London Wall. As you might remember from our pilot post, IMG_0432the Cripplegate was the site where many non-conformist preachers led morning exercises for all those who had been expelled from the city by the Church of England. Men such as John Milton, John Foxe, Oliver Cromwell, John Bunyan, Richard Baxter, William Cooper, Stephen Charnock, John Owen, Thomas Manton, Thomas Vincent, Thomas Watson, and Matthew Poole all at some point led the morning exercises at the Cripplegate. And inasmuch as our blog has been an attempt at carrying on the faithfulness of such men, aiding in the formation of a new generation of non-conformists, it was a real treat for me to visit the site of the “real” Cripplegate. And I’d like to share that visit with you all.

The Courtyard of St. Giles, and Me

The Courtyard of St. Giles, and Me

St. Giles, from the Front

St. Giles, from the Front







St. Giles, from the Inside

St. Giles, from the Inside


IMG_0470 - Left, from Front

The Gates of St. Giles









Me, at the spot where John Foxe is buried. His grave is unmarked.

Me, at the spot where John Foxe is buried. His grave is unmarked.



Remains of the old London Wall, destroyed by WWII bombing. The original Cripplegate would have been attached to what was destroyed of this wall, allowing passage into the city.









There are plenty more pictures that I could (and would love to) share with you, but I’ll cap it at this last one. It was a memorial stone for a Christian woman whose name none of us would ever recognize. I thought the engraving was a great way to be remembered. May it be said of us that “on our Redeemer’s only merit, we did rely by Him to inherit” that heritage laid up in store for us at the Savior’s side.


Reader, do not with hasty folly,
Presume to tread this ground is holy.
Here underneath lies one so pure,
Roomes Faction could not allure.
On her Redeemer’s only merit,
She did rely by Him t’inherit.
Long sickness did her body pine,
At last drawn up where she doth shine,
With her four littles where now they sing,
Eternal anthems unto Heaven’s High King.

Mike Riccardi

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Mike is the Pastor of Local Outreach Ministries at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles. He also teaches Evangelism at The Master's Seminary.
  • Larry

    I pray God uses the trip to further inspire your zeal for the Gospel.

  • Rejoicing with you, what a great opportunity! Enjoy London, and many blessing on the conference! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • kevin2184

    Hi Mike. Thanks for your post and pics! Praying for you all!

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