St Alfege Church 300 years ago
‘The CASE of the Inhabitants of GREENWICH in the County of Kent, and Reasons why they ask Relief for Rebuilding their Parish-Church’, 1711
This week, St Alfege Church held a simple and moving re-enactment of a plea to Parliament of some 300 years ago to finance the reconstruction of their parish church having been destroyed in the Great Storm, and also for aid for some 2,000 seafarers who were shipwrecked in the naval disaster in the Isle of Scilly. Many were from Greenwich and Deptford Dockyard communities.
The fleet with Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell on board came to grief on a reef and resulted in devastating loss of life. Subsequently, additional essential navigational aids were invented, such as the Harrison Clock (now on display in the National Maritime Museum). Trinity House, the navigational authority, was also founded 300 years ago, based close by in Deptford Strond.
The ceremony was held this week on St. Valentine’s Day in St. Alfege’s Church – the first church rebuilt by Hawksmoor and Sir Christopher Wren after the great Fire of London. This was a moving re-enactment, with the Church Wardens submitting their plea to civic and church leaders before a gathering of parish men. St Alfege also celebrated with the announcement of their successful lottery grant application, which will enable further essential refurbishment of this monumental landmark in Greenwich Town Centre.