Thanks to National Lottery players, development funding of £153,200 has been awarded to help St Alfege progress their plans to apply for a full grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for their 'Heart of Greenwich' project.
The plan is to strengthen St Alfege's position as a heritage asset at the heart of Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, opening it up to a more diverse range of visitors. If successful, the work would start in January 2018 with the aim that all the capital works would be completed in 2020.
The Heart of Greenwich project focuses on the architectural importance of the building and aims to improve access to and facilities in the church. The project will improve access for less able people and improve signage, landscaping and interpretation.
It will also explore and reveal the stories of the many famous people such as Henry VIII, Thomas Tallis, and James Wolfe and less well known families associated with the church.
St Alfege Church is a Grade 1 listed church, the first church built under the Fifty New Churches Act of 1711 and the first complete church project undertaken by Nicholas Hawksmoor, pupil of Wren and one of England’s most original and significant architects.
Commenting on the award, Vicar Chris Moody said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. St Alfege is at the heart of Greenwich and the current building holds the history of the Greenwich community as it has developed over the past 1000 years. It’s great to know that we are a step closer to preserving it and making our history better known to young and old alike. Many thanks to our partners – the University, the Royal Borough of Greenwich and other World Heritage Site institutions - for helping us get this far….and thank you Heritage Lottery Fund!”
Explaining the importance of the HLF support, Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “St Alfege has been a proud symbol for the people of Greenwich for a very long time, and we are delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to support this fantastic project, and we look forward to seeing further plans as they develop".