We have lots to tell you about the restoration and access projects at St Anne’s: read on for the latest project developments, an update on our fundraising plans and details of how you can support Care for St Anne’s. There is also a date for your diary: Limehouse History Evening is taking place at St Anne’s on Sunday 19th May. Do join us!
Opening access to St Anne’s
St Anne’s was granted a faculty for the lift installation in January – a significant and exciting project milestone. Having a faculty in place means we can continue fundraising bolstered by the knowledge that permission for the lift has been granted. The lift is essential to provide step-free access to the building and it will service nave and gallery levels, via an existing ground level entrance into the crypt. A ramp will run through the crypt, for step-free access to the parish room and toilets at the east end of the church.
We want to be able to share the heritage of St Anne’s and the stories it tells with more people and we’re planning to open the church to visitors outside of regular services and one-off events. We will be offering volunteer opportunities to get involved and help to bring the building to life for visitors. We want to create an exhibition space in the gallery, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the fascinating history of St Anne’s, whilst they appreciate the building from a different perspective. We will send further details as these plans develop, and hope to see some of our friends at St Anne’s, either visiting or volunteering!
The restoration of the nave will follow the lift installation. In the meantime, we are continuing to care for St Anne’s with essential ongoing maintenance, including the development of a rainwater failsafe system. Hawksmoor’s design for St Alfege’s in Greenwich placed downpipes inside the building, with disastrous consequences when they blocked. Happily ours were externally mounted, nevertheless in recent years the increasing intensity of rain downpours has at times exceeded their capacity. The church architect has developed a failsafe drainage system to divert excess water from the roof, preventing ingress which is so damaging to the interior. This work will cost £18,000 and we are grateful to Canary Wharf Contractors, who have agreed to carry out the bulk of the project free of charge.
Singers at St Anne’s
At the end of last year, we were delighted to be joined for the morning by singers Aled Jones and Russell Watson. We showed them around St Anne’s and explained how we are planning to restore the building in the coming years. Aled and Russell heard a performance by children from Seven Mills Primary School and then went up into the tower for a bellringing demonstration.
Welcome to a new Vice Patron and date for your diary: 19th May
Owen Hopkins, architectural historian and author of the most recent biography of Nicholas Hawksmoor, From the Shadows (Reaktion Books 2015), has joined Care for St Anne’s as a Vice-Patron. We’d like to thank Owen for joining us and welcome him to Care for St Anne’s. Owen is speaking at the Limehouse History evening at St Anne’s on Sunday 19th May 2019, giving a talk which explores the genesis of Hawksmoor’s churches and the architectural, urban and ecclesiastical contexts from which they emerged. Local historian and member of the church, Jeremy Batch, is also giving a talk about Limehouse Basin’s redevelopment in the 1980s. This is a free event; doors open at 7.15. Please do join us.
Your support matters!
Bringing St Anne’s back to its best is expensive and the support of regular and occasional donors is vital. Only with this help from our friends can we bid for the larger grants we require. Just to remind you, it is possible to donate online at:
or by sending a cheque payable to ‘Care for St Anne’s’ c/o Limehouse Rectory, 5 Newell Street, London E14 7HP.
Another way to contribute over the longer term is to leave a gift to Care for St Anne’s in your will. If you would like to talk to us about giving in this way, please get in touch, or simply state in your will the name of the charity and its registration number (288889) together with the amount you would like to donate.
We thank you for your continued interest in St Anne’s and look forward to seeing you soon.