Once known by taxi drivers as ‘St Mary in the Way’, the church which had previously been surrounded by heavy traffic now sits at the centre of a pedestrianised zone at London’s cultural heart, surrounded by cultural institutions, gallery spaces, and university buildings. This is a unique opportunity in the church’s story, an opportunity to build on this new accessibility and to become a space that once again hosts important moments and connections and maintains its place in history.
Although committed parishioners and church wardens have undertaken a number of small maintenance projects over the years, these have only been enough to keep St Mary le Strand functioning and have not been enough to conserve this grade 1 listed building and keep it fit for purpose in the 21st century. The church is not accessible to anyone requiring step-free access, the crypt is unused and contains a 19th-century boiler which presents health risks, there is limited storage space, and there is no space that community or school groups could use for engagement activities. Paint, plaster and stone are falling from the main body of the building and the building’s layers of history are not currently being shared.
Despite this neglect, we can see the affection and care of our visitors and the loss that would be felt if the Church were to no longer be open to them. St Mary le Strand is visited by 9,197 visitors a month.
With NLHF investment in the development phase of The Jewel in the Strand Project, we are finding ways to not only open up the building physically but to make it relevant to a wider audience than ever before. We hope that you will join us for the next stage in the Project’s journey, making this site relevant and accessible to everyone, regardless of their background, for generations to come.
If you would like to find out more about the project or find out about ways to get involved, you can sponsor a flower or contact us for further information about ways to sponsor the new Strand Crypt and other aspects of the project.
St Mary le Strand has and has 40 active volunteers. We have a variety of volunteer opportunities. If you would like to find out more, please contact us.