Construction works to conserve St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance and build the new Biggin Hill Memorial Museum commenced on Monday 18 September 2017.
Following the annual Battle of Britain service the chapel closed, allowing conservation and repair work to be undertaken in advance of the site re-opening in November 2018. However, by prior appointment access to the Garden of Remembrance will be available most Wednesday mornings, when a group of volunteers will be attending to maintain the rose beds.
“Work is underway to enhance and preserve the chapel so that it can remain open for future generations and to construct the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum. For over 30 years there has been a wish to honour those who served at Biggin Hill during wartime and the community who supported them and now that aspiration is getting close to becoming reality. The museum will open for visitors in 2018 to tell the human story, remembering the Few and honouring the Many. There will be opportunities to visit St Georges Chapel in the months ahead and we look forward to seeing visitors at these times” said Councillor Peter Morgan, Executive Councillor for Renewal and Recreation.
In addition to the arrangements for the Garden of Remembrance, the Chapel building will be opened on the following dates:
- Sunday 12 November 2017, 12 – 3pm
- Sunday 14 January 2018, 12 – 3pm
- Sunday 11 March 2018, 12 – 3pm
- Sunday 13 May 2018, 12 – 3pm
- Sunday 15 July 2018, 12 – 3pm
- Sunday 16 September 2018, 12 – 3pm
On these dates, depending on the work being undertaken at that time, visitors may have the opportunity to see the conservation works in action, and it is likely that many of the furnishings will have been removed for safety and restoration work.
Access for visitors travelling from far afield, and funerals, will also be accommodated as far as possible by prior arrangement on other dates. To contact the team about special access email email@example.com or phone 020 8313 4916.
The chapel will reopen as part of the museum in November 2018 as part of the commemorations marking 100 years after the end of the First World War and RAF 100. Weekly worship will resume at this time with both Catholic and Church of England services taking place as they have done historically. Access to the main chapel will remain free to visitors when the museum site opens, and St George’s room will be visible through a glass screen which can be opened to provide additional seating space at large services during the year.
Editor’s notes – Bromley Council, in partnership with the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Trust has received a grant of almost £2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum project. The award decision was made by the HLF’s London committee who described the project work as ‘exemplary’. Thanks to the money raised by National Lottery players, work will commence on site this autumn bringing about the delivery of a much wanted museum.
This is a major milestone for the project which will see a new museum open at the site of St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance, ensuring the chapel and Biggin Hill’s heritage is protected for future generations. In total more than £5m has now been secured to deliver this sustainable scheme which includes a £1.5m endowment fund.
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