Tours of St Alfege Crypt Saturday 15 April

A rare chance to visit the crypt of our beautiful and historic Church in the heart of Greenwich. As the Tall Ships will be setting sail from Greenwich to Quebec, Canada, we are running tours of the crypt so that visitors can see the burial vault of General James Wolfe as well as the vaults of other historical figures connected with Canada.

We will be running tours throughout the day. Each tour will last approximately 40 minutes and will start at the crypt entrance on the south side of the church (nearest the Mitre pub). Please arrive five minutes before the published start time of your tour.

Places are limited so please book early! Tickets are free but must be booked through 'Eventbrite'. You can do this here.  

Please note that the crypt is an historic space and unfortunately is not accessible to people with limited mobility - there are steep steps leading down into it. It has low ceilings and is also a working space – with material and equipment stored throughout it.

The church will be open throughout the period of the tours and there is an exhibition about Wolfe and the people associated with him buried in the crypt or the churchyard. 

Sermon by Revd Caroline Risdon 5 March 2017

The Sermon preached by Revd Caroline Risdon  on the 1st Sunday in Lent, Sunday 5 March 2017, can be found here

Have your say event - St Alfege Church - Heart of Greenwich, Place and People

A big thank you to all those who took part in our Have your say consultation event on 12 February which will help shape our activity plan.  We had a great turnout with over 128 local residents and visitors, both adults and children, who gave us lots of useful feedback and ideas.  They took part in activities to explore which are the favourite stories about our history and how people would like to find out more about our heritage and place at the Heart of Greenwich.   The Place and People photographic exhibition was enjoyed by all and many had their own photo taken in the church. 75 people explored the crypt, a hidden space which is currently rarely open to visitors. 

Gill Moody, Chair of the Heart of Greenwich project board said: "It was great to meet so many local people and visitors who really want to know more about the history of St Alfege Church and to find out what is important to them and how they would like the heritage explained in the future. "

St Alfege Church has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop our Heart of Greenwich, Place and People project which aims to open up the church's hidden spaces and rich heritage for everyone. Thanks to National Lottery players, development funding has been awarded to help  St Alfege Church progress our plans to enable us to apply for a full grant at a later date and the activity plan is a key part of this.    

Over the past three weeks, volunteers from the church have also been out in Greenwich town centre to collect people's views on this exciting project and nearly 200 people have completed our survey. 

Sermon by Revd Caroline Risdon 29 January 2017

The sermon preached by Revd Caroline Risdon on the Second Sunday of Epiphany, 29 January 2017, can be found here

Choral Evensong moves to the Last Sunday of the Month

Choral evensong will now take place here on the last Sunday of every month (excluding August) at 6.30pm.  This year we are introducing a series of short talks and recitals on individual poets or poems to accompany the beauty of language and music in our ‘cathedral style’ choral evensong according to the Book of Common Prayer.   Join us next on Sunday 26 February when Peter Jay will talk about the poetry of James Harpur.

Come to be still, pray and meditate in a service lasting not more than an hour which expresses the best of the Anglican tradition.

Sermon by Revd Chris Moody 25 December 2016

The sermon given by the Vicar, Revd Chris Moody on the morning of Christmas Day can be accessed here

Rich Heritage of St Alfege Church Explored in University Research

Rich heritage of St Alfege Church explored in university research

The role of St Alfege Church at the centre of the community is the theme of a research project being carried out at the University of Greenwich.

Alison Fisher, a Greenwich resident and also a postgraduate student at the university, has been awarded a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship, which will enable her to look into the church's rich history and its place in the country's local and national heritage.

A Grade 1 listed building, St Alfege Church is a key part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. It was the first church built 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.

Alison, a qualified architect, says she is delighted to be able to pursue her passion for history while based within the university's award-winning Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities. "I welcome this fantastic opportunity to explore how these buildings and monuments reflect the history of our community and relate to the wider national context," she says.

"The position of St Alfege Church within the social framework of this area is central to understanding the development of Greenwich, and I'm keen to delve into its complex history. The physical memorials and surviving church records will enable me to examine the church's rich and varied role at key moments over two and half centuries."

Alison's research also ties in with the St Alfege Church project, called Heart of Greenwich, Place and People, which has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and aims to open up the church's 'hidden spaces' and rich heritage for everyone. Thanks to National Lottery players, development funding has been awarded to help St Alfege Church progress plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.

The Rev Chris Moody, Vicar of St Alfege, adds: "Our church holds the history of Greenwich and its community. We are delighted that Alison is developing this fascinating line of research, which will uncover much about its history.

"As an architect and local resident, Alison is uniquely qualified, and we are tremendously grateful to the University of Greenwich for awarding her the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship. We would also be interested to hear from anyone with family links to the church, and have set up a book to note these in our vestibule."

Working within the university's Department of History, Politics & Social Sciences, Alison will explore the relationship between the church and community, and analyse how they interacted over the years. She will investigate three key points in its history: the creation of the church by Nicholas Hawksmoor in the early 1700s; the development of an 'overflow' church, St Mary's, in 1825; and the restoration of St Alfege by Sir Albert Richardson, following extensive damage during the Second World War.

As well as looking at the whole church building, Alison will refer to individual gravestones, burial vaults, church archives and the public burial ground in order to build an in-depth insight into the communities that operated the church at these three key moments in time.

In this way the project will shine new light on the rich heritage and hidden spaces of this church, which is central to the town of Greenwich.

For more on St Alfege:

For more on studying with the university's Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities:

Thanks to National Lottery players, development funding has been awarded to help St Alfege Church progress plans to apply for a full grant at a later date. The Heart of Greenwich, Place and People project focuses on the architectural importance of the building and aims to improve access to, and facilities in, the church. It will also explore and reveal the stories of many famous people associated with the church such as Henry VIII, Thomas Tallis and General James Wolfe, as well as many less well-known figures.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.  Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram


Nicholas Ellwood

Senior Public Relations Officer

University of Greenwich

020 8331 9420


Wendy Foreman

St Alfege Church

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


07773 521 906 

Heart of Greenwich Place and People

St Alfege Church – Heart of Greenwich - Place and People

St Alfege Church in Greenwich has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its Heart of Greenwich project, it was announced today. 

The project will open up the church’s hidden spaces and rich heritage to national and international visitors, school children and students, and to the widely diverse local community. 

Thanks to National Lottery players, development funding of £153,200 has also been awarded to help St Alfege progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date. 

The plan is to strengthen St Alfege's position as a heritage asset at the heart of Greenwich, opening it up to a more diverse range of visitors. The work would start in January 2018 with the aim that all the capital works would be completed in 2020. Planned activities would extend into 2022. 

Working with the University of Greenwich, the Royal Borough and schools, the church will give students practical experience, recruit and train volunteer Heritage Ambassadors and provide a programme of heritage focused activities. Plans include opening up and interpreting the crypt, vital repairs to the fabric and bringing to light the splendid work of the renowned architect Nicholas Hawksmoor. The project will improve access for less able people and improve signage, landscaping and interpretation. 

St Alfege Church is a Grade 1 listed landmark church in London, 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. Its patron saint was murdered on the site of the church just over 1,000 years ago, and there has been a place of Christian worship on the site ever since. Henry VIII was baptised in the church. His court composer Thomas Tallis, “the father of English church music” was its organist. He and General James Wolfe are buried here alongside other figures of local and national importance. Key historical figures in Greenwich’s royal, maritime and scientific history have worshipped here. The present building was constructed between 1712 and 1718, and is one of the key buildings within the Greenwich World Heritage Site. 

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.””

Loss and Gain: Sermon for All Saints and All Souls-tide

Loss and Gain: a sermon preached on Sunday 30th October by the Revd Chris Moody, Vicar. The sermon can be accessed here

The Rich Man and Lazarus: A Sermon preached by the Vicar on 25 September 2016

The sermon preached by the Vicar, Rev'd Chris Moody, on Sunday 25 September 2016 is available here

Additional information