St Clement Danes Church Fund

St Clement Danes Church Fund 1941 Appeal - emergency Steeple restoration

Pillar One of the 1941 Appeal to raise urgent emergency funding to restore the 1719 James Gibbs Steeple of St Clement Danes Church, the Central Church of the Royal Air Force.
£2,561
raised
by 71 supporters
RCN 1168717

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Story

Designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1682, pre-war St Clement Danes church was a thriving parish with a growing congregation.

On the night of the 10th & 11th May 1941 at the height of the Blitz during WWII, the church received a direct hit from an incendiary bomb and was all but destroyed, with only the outer walls, Bell Tower and Gothic Steeple remaining.

The building remained derelict until the RAF launched a world-wide fundraising appeal to restore the church to Wren's design.

The Church was reconsecrated in 1958 as the Central Church of the Royal Air Force, in the presence of the late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Unseen by the restoration team in the 1950s, the chimney effect of the Bell Tower and Steeple intensified the flames and heat during the fire in 1941. This caused microscopic cracks in the Portland stone Gothic Steeple.

80 years on, water has seeped into the masonry reaching the metalwork holding the structure together. The metalwork has now rusted, expanded and is causing the Portland stone to crack and spall.

An inspection by a specialist steeplejack firm in February 2023 has reported an alarming acceleration in the damage to the steeple structure, with is now unsafe and at risk of masonry falling to pavement level or total collapse.

We need your help to take emergency action now! We need to urgently raise £20,000 to encase the steeple in stainless steel netting, to ensure no stones can fall to ground level and there is no risk to the public.

Your donation, no matter how small or large, will help us to save the 1719 James Gibbs Gothic Steeple from total collapse, while we raise the £2 million we need to restore the steeple stone by stone.

The 1941 Appeal is called as such because the church was all but destroyed in May 1941, but also the steeple from ground level to the top of the weather vane is almost 1941 inches tall.

You can help by fundraising for an inch or more towards our target, and in recognition your name will be entered into a special book of benefactors to be housed in the church and you will receive a special RAF St Clement Danes Pin Badge.

A donation of £ 10.30 will pay for an inch of our emergency steeple fund

A donation of £1030.00 will pay for an inch of our main steeple restoration fund.

Thank you for your help to save and restore our historic London landmark and ensuring the bells continue to play "Oranges & Lemons" for future generations to come.

About the charity

St Clement Danes Church, the central church of the Royal Air Force; support the running of the Church including the holding of services and all its religious and charitable work; for the benefit of past, present and future members of the RAF and other Air Forces deemed to be associated with the RAF

Donation summary

Total raised
£2,560.49
Online donations
£2,560.49
Offline donations
£0.00
Direct donations
£2,150.49
Donations via fundraisers
£410.00

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