"St Botolph’s drew me in some years ago since it was my parish church. It also offered Prayer Book worship, that rich spiritual resource in which I had had the fortune to grow up. Still within reach in my retirement this ancient church continues to provide worship that gives a structure for measured, unfussy contemplation of the gift of God in Christ. It is a blessing too that we have a building of some 700 years where we are joined in our prayer by so great a cloud of witnesses."
"St Botolph's has been absolutely essential to my journey in faith. A warm welcome, beautiful words and music, often something delicious to eat and drink as well. It's like stepping into a family home each Sunday. Come and worship here - you really won't regret it!"
"The best word to sum up the atmosphere at St Botolph’s, for this writer, at any rate, is tranquillity. To enter the west door from the street is to cross the threshold of the numinous, and to become more deeply aware of the presence of God.
The atmosphere is reminiscent of a church in, say, an Italian city. In the early morning, the light pours in from every angle drawing the eye upward along the nave to the altarpiece, a Crucifixion after Van Dyck, brought from Flanders by a University printer, and which still serves as a focus for the devotion of countless visitors.
We do not enter this church alone. We follow in the footsteps of parishioners and visitors for nearly seven hundred years before us. Here came founders of several neighbouring ancient Colleges, the servants who worked in them, and the neighbours who lived in the surrounding streets and lanes of the city. Scholars such as Erasmus heard the very bells which still ring from the tower, as did visitors from London and elsewhere, entering the town by its ancient gate; in 1660 Samuel Pepys was taken to hear a sermon. and duly noted the text in his diary (Ps 119:96). Astronomical observations which were eventually to lead to the discovery of black holes were made by a former Rector John Michell, in the eighteenth century, and two centuries later, the naturalist Charles Darwin’s grandson, Sir Charles Galton Darwin, a director of the National Physical Laboratory and Master of Christ’s College, was given a memorial here. James Essex, the eighteenth-century architect who worked all over Cambridge has his tomb in the churchyard and his family monument in the north Aisle, its words calling us to remember the Judgement. The evangelical president of Queens’ College Isaac Milner knew this pulpit; Cambridge Bibles up to at least the mid twentieth century, many of them still in use were printed in the parish- and the men from the University Press who fell in the Great War are commemorated in the South chapel. Under our feet and on the walls are memorials to Cambridge citizens buried here in the hope of a joyful Resurrection. All these tokens unostentatiously witness to the faith of our forebears and show how St Botolph’s has influenced the lives of innumerable people, town and gown, residents and visitors, as it still does today.
This in turn reminds us that we, the present congregation of this ancient Church do not pray alone but join with the whole company of heaven in the Communion of saints, with whom we are one in Christ. Faithful preaching, Word and sacrament continue as we bear witness to Him. The open doors welcome all, and the friendly congregation continues to practice the ancient tradition of hospitality associated with Saint Botolph. It is a place where prayer has been accustomed to being made. Thousands of visitors enter each year, to rest, to pray and to reflect. We stand on holy ground and pray with one another for one another."