St Margaret's Church launches £2 million appeal
Tuesday, 19th May 2009
St Margaret’s Church, affectionately known as the ‘parish church of the House of Commons’, and the church where Winston Churchill married his beloved Clemmie in September 1908 has launched a £2 million appeal to fund essential works to repair its roof, external walls and bell tower.
Standing between the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, St Margaret’s has played an important spiritual role in parliamentary and national life for over four hundred years since Speaker Phelips assembled the entire House in the church to take Holy Communion there in 1614.
Today St Margaret’s serves both Houses of Parliament with parliamentary baptisms, weddings and memorial services of national significance are held there. Recent memorial services have been held for Gwyneth Dunwoody MP, Lord Biffen, Lord Bethell, Lord Pym, and Lord Gilmour. As well as Winston Churchill (1908), Samuel Pepys (1655), John Milton (1656) and Lord Mountbatten (1922) were also married at the church.
The £2 million appeal is seeking to fund:
- Resurfacing the flaking external Portland stone walls
- Replacing the leaking south aisle roof
- Repairing the deteriorating tower and cupola
- Saving the original stonework of the four tower pinnacles
The Reverend Robert Wright, Sub-Dean of Westminster and Rector of St Margaret’s and Chaplain to the House of Commons said:
Despite a regular maintenance programme carried out by the Abbey, St Margaret’s can not afford to carry out these vital repairs to its deteriorating fabric without some additional funds.
St Margaret’s Church is officially under the care of the Dean & Chapter of Westminster and is an integral part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament and Parliament Square.