St Alfege is the Anglican parish church in the centre of Greenwich with a diverse congregation, a rich musical tradition and a thriving church school.  There has been a church here for over a thousand years, dedicated to the memory of Alfege, the Archbishop of Canterbury who was martyred on this site in 1012. 

Henry VIII was baptised here, and many other key historical figures in Greenwich’s royal, maritime and scientific history have close links with the site including Thomas Tallis, General James Wolfe and John Flamsteed.

A Grade 1 listed building, St Alfege is a key part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. It was the first church built between 1712 and 1718 under the Fifty New Churches Act of 1711, and the first complete church project undertaken by Nicholas Hawksmoor, one of England’s most original and significant architects.

Believing in poetry 2018  

A series of short talks and recitals on individual poets or poems to accompany the beauty of language and music in ‘cathedral style’ choral evensong according to the Book of Common Prayer at 6.30pm on the last Sunday of every month (excluding August when there is no service and November which will be the Advent Service). Details can be found here

 Vote for St Alfege Church 

We heard on Friday that St Alfege Church has been shortlisted for a grant of £30,000 from the Royal Borough of Greenwich Growth Fund towards our match funding for the Heritage Lottery Fund award. In our application we specified that this would be for the new ramp for wheelchair and buggy access to the north entrance of the church, an item which will really enhance our welcome to visitors and the local community. The final decision will be taken by the Cabinet but will take into account the votes of local people.   

If you live in the Royal Borough of Greenwich (Blackheath and Greenwich area) please would you vote for us? If you follow this link, it will take you to the right page.  You do need to register if you are not already signed up for a Royal Borough of Greenwich account and this is very easy and quick to do.  The St Alfege project is in Area two - Blackheath and Greenwich (and you need to live in this area of the Borough to vote for this project). Many thanks. This would be a very important contribution to our Heart of Greenwich - Place and People project and of great benefit to the people of Greenwich. 

Three Hundred Years of this Beautiful Building  

2018 marks three hundred years since the Dedication of Hawksmoor's St Alfege Church building. 

"The Case of the Inhabitants of Greenwich in the Country of ent and Reasons why they ask Relief for Rebuilding their Parish Church" So began the petition to parliament in February 2011, 307 years ago, read by the then church wardens of Greenwich Parish Church, seeking to rebuild the medieval church after a storm.  This petition began the whole process towards the Fifty New Churches Act of 1711 under which the present church and the rest of the Hawksmoor churches and others like them were built. 

This historical event was highlighted with a short re-enactment in February to launch the Tercentenary celebrations of the Dedication of Hawksmoor's St Alfege Church building in 1718.    Current churchwardens, Sarah Lavery and Nick Hervey, presented the same petition to The Rt Honourable Nick Raynsford, former Minister for London and local Greenwich and Woolwich MP (1992 to 2015).   Dressed in 18th century costume and accompanied by children's church members, Karile and Simon Jones,  also in costume, the wardens read the beautifully crafted and detailed petition to the Minister, the Leader of the Council, Cllr Denise Hyland,  Deputy Lieutenant, Dr Pieter van der Merwe and an audience of about 60 local people and representatives from Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. 

The original petition, started the move towards the building of many fine baroque churches. Most of them are north of the river, but two, this one and St Paul’s Deptford are among the best which were built. St Alfege Church is the first of Hawksmoor’s London churches, and the template on which the general plan of the other churches is based.

 The Hawksmoor church in Greenwich was built between 1712 and 1716 and dedicated in 1718. It replaced an earlier medieval building, of which the tower, though not visible from the outside, still remains.  Part of it had collapsed in a storm and the churchwardens pleaded that they did not have the resources to rebuild it on their own, just as we are relying on the generosity of National Lottery players and other donors in the conservation and improvement of the facilities in Hawksmoor’s church today. 

St Alfege Church is a Grade 1 listed landmark and is one of the key buildings within the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. There has been a church here for over a thousand years, dedicated to the memory of Alfege, the Archbishop of Canterbury who was martyred on this site in 1012.  Henry VIII was baptized here, and many other key historical figures in Greenwich’s royal, maritime and scientific history have close links with the site including Thomas Tallis, General James Wolfe and John Flamsteed.  

Revd Chris Moody, Vicar, said: “These churches were built as centres in which beautifully ordered Anglican worship could take place and social action and responsibility towards the local community could be strengthened and maintained. That is a tradition that we are still proud to be part of."

 Future events this year will celebrate other key anniversaries in the life of the Hawksmoor building including:  

* 23 April 1953 The re-consecration of the church by the Bishop of Southwark after war damage and the last major reconstruction by Sir Albert Richardson.
* 12 June 1711 Royal Assent given bringing the Fifty New Churches Act into force.
* 18/23 September 1718/19 the consecration of the new church by Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, to be celebrated on 23 September 2018


Rich heritage of St Alfege Church to be revealed thanks to National Lottery Players

St Alfege Church in Greenwich has received a confirmed grant (£1,836,800) from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Heart of Greenwich, Place and People project, it was announced today. 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 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. St Alfege Church  dominates the town centre. 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.

Commenting on the award, Vicar Chris Moody said: “This has been a culmination of years of planning and we are absolutely delighted at this generous award.  I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible."

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “The Heart of Greenwich project will see Hawksmoor’s building restored and the heritage of this well-loved church brought to a wider audience. In the season of goodwill it is great that this gift from National Lottery players will support this well-loved historic building, and we can't wait to see what further exciting discoveries will be made".

Original Hawksmoor drawing discovered 

An original drawing of St Alfege Church by Nicholas Hawksmoor has recently been discovered at Greenwich Heritage Centre. Find out more on our news page.

Heart of Greenwich - Place and People

In June 2016, St Alfege Church was awarded more than £150,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help us further develop our Heart of Greenwich project.

This scheme would open up the church’s ‘hidden spaces’, including its crypt, and put its rich history on display to visitors from across the world. Working with the university, as well as with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and local schools, the church seeks to recruit and train volunteer heritage ambassadors and provide a programme of related activities. Subject to a further successful bid for funding, the project will get under way in 2018 also aims to improve access to and facilities in the church and improve signage, landscaping and interpretation.

Reverend Chris Moody, Vicar of St Alfege said: “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 thousand 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, and to the Heritage Lottery Fund, for helping us get this far.”