St Mary-at-Hill was delighted to receive a grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) under the Culture Recovery Fund in October 2020. We wanted to share a little of what each project is about and how we are progressing. There are three main projects: The Exhibition, the Joinery Assessment and the Research Study. All three are intended to add to the church, to enable us to make decisions about the future and to enhance the beauty of this amazing building.
Victoria Kingston curated the exhibition which tells the story of St Mary-at-Hill, its historic interior, musical heritage, the unique annual Fish Harvest Festival, the people who have worked and worshipped here, and what we hope to achieve in the future. Jackie Baines designed the look and feel of the exhibition. The project was overseen by our Heritage Consultant Linda Foster who has been associated with St Mary-at-Hill for many years and has a thorough knowledge of the building.
For many years, following the fire in 1988, the rescued joinery from the interior of the church has been in storage. We had finally been able to commission a thorough assessment to be conducted by the internationally renowned conservation firm Hugh Harrison Conservation. The assessment started before Christmas 2020 with the painstaking work of piecing together the different elements, photographing and cataloguing each piece. Dendrochronological research has been carried out in order to determine the age of the various pieces. Our consultant architect on this project is Oliver Caroe of Caroe Architecture Ltd.
The Research Survey
The pandemic has changed many things in the City of London and the churches have been affected by the diminution of the number of visitors. Consultancy Firm BMG had been tasked with studying what we can offer our parish and the wider community when people are able to return.