Heart of Greenwich
St Alfege Church has received a confirmed grant of £1,836,800 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) for the Heart of Greenwich, Place and People project, thanks to National Lottery players. The project aims reinforce the church’s position as a heritage asset at the heart of Greenwich, reveal and interpret our hidden spaces and heritage for visitors, school children, their families and a diverse local community. We plan vital repairs to the fabric, will bring to light the splendid work of Nicholas Hawksmoor, improve access to and facilities in the church and enhance landscaping, signage and interpretation.
Working with the University of Greenwich, the Royal Borough of Greenwich and schools, we will give students practical experience, recruit and train volunteer Heritage Ambassadors and provide a programme of heritage focused activities. We will strengthen St Alfege Church’s role as a resource for future generations. Custodian of the emerging story of the place, it holds the remains of significant figures in British history and plays an important role in the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.
The project includes:
• cleaning, conservation and lighting of the north and south elevations, repairs to roof
• a new access ramp and creation of a new entrance visible from the street
• two wheelchair accessible toilets
• landscaping and a community memorial garden
• immersive events in the crypt for schools
• other heritage related events and lectures
• an increase in the number and training of volunteers.
Timeline as at 1 January 2019
December 2017 – Grant of £1,836,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded
January 2018 Permission to start and detailed design work begins
April 2018 Updated website launched www.st-alfege.org
May 2018 Rebecca Parrant, Heritage Engagement and Interpretation Manager joins team. Rebecca is working closely with volunteers to develop research materials which will help shape the heritage displays inside the church.
July 2018 Original drawing by Sir James Thornhill discovered in St Alfege Church archive
September 2018 Tender documentation sent to shortlisted contractors. Decision due November (Tbc)
October 2018 Recruitment and appointment of freelance evaluator, Kayte McSweeney, for the project. Kayte is preparing a toolkit to help us see how well we’ve done.
November 2018 Recruitment and appointment of Anne Burton as Volunteer Development Manager. Anne comes to us from the Old Royal Naval College, where she oversaw the recruitment of volunteers for their recent Painted Ceiling Tours and other projects. She is helping us develop existing and new volunteers in a range of Heritage Ambassador roles.
November 2018/January/February 2019 Soft landscaping works including the removal of the lime tree in the south east corner and the holly also in the south area. Both trees will be replaced, one for one, later in the project. The crown of the horse chestnut tree closest to the west door of the church will also be raised.
December 2018 PAYE Stonework and Restoration appointed. There will be preliminary works onsite in January and it is anticipated that work will start in earnest week beginning 4 or 11 February. The church will remain open during the works which are expected to complete in mid-late summer 2019.
February 2019 Building works begin
January 2019 Anne Burton, Volunteer Development Manager joins team. Volunteer recruitment programme begins
September 2019 Illustration project: Three locals schools will work alongside a professional illustrator to explore the church’s heritage and architecture. Pupils will use this as inspiration and will then individually produce drawings of the church, some of which will be included in our family trail leaflet.
September 2019 Immersive event for schools: We recently recruited a creative education practitioner, who will be working in partnership with local teachers to develop an atmospheric learning programme, exploring the history of the church in a practical and hands on way. This programme will become an annual heritage offer for local schools to utilise when visiting the church.
February 2020 Building works and hard landscaping are completed.
Summer 2020 - Opening of displays - timing to be confirmed as dependent on Covid-19
Autumn 2020 to Summer 2021 Soft landscaping and community memorial garden created.
Summer 2021 Launch with community festival
For any questions about the project or works, please contact Wendy Foreman