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Heart of Greenwich 

St Alfege Church has received a confirmed grant  of £1,836,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) 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.

Expected timeline November 2018

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

May 2018 Rebecca Parrant, Heritage Engagement and Interpretation Manager joins team. Rebecca will be working closely with volunteers to develop research materials which will help shape the heritage displays inside the church.  Find out more about the Interpretation research volunteer role here. If anyone is interested in supporting the research project please email Rebecca.

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 will be helping us develop existing and new volunteers in a range of Heritage Ambassador roles. 

November 2018 - Winter 2019 Soft landscaping works by Royal Borough of Greenwich 

December 2018 Contractors appointed to undertake the work, subject to confirmation from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Jan/Feb 2019 Building works begin

Jan 2019 Volunteer recruitment programme begins

July – December 2019   Planting beds in north churchyard

2020 as early as possible Building and hard landscaping works due to be complete

Summer 2020 Launch with community festival

For any questions about the project or works, please contact Gill Moody on 020 8858 6828. 


Wendy Foreman, 18/09/2018