Sir Christopher Wren's St Bride's seeks £2.5 million survival funding

By Kayleigh Rose Lewis | 16 January 2012
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A photo of a magnificent white church spire under a bright blue sky
Organisers are hoping a campaign to restore St Bride's will raise £2.5 million by the end of 2012
© Daniel Shearing
Sir Christopher Wren’s “Cathedral of Fleet Street” could face closure if funding can’t be found for crucial repair work on its spire.

The tallest of Wren’s Churches, St Bride’s Church, in Fleet Street, London, is Grade I-listed and brimming with history. But the magnificent building has deteriorated over the years and the spire has become a cause of great concern.

A campaign is being launched to help raise money so that much-needed renovations can be made and the church restored to its former glory.

“St Bride’s is a working church; a building that is in use seven days a week,” says the Venerable David Meera, the Rector of St Bride’s.

“We desperately need these funds.”

The church is more than 300 years old and still hosts weddings, christenings, memorials and concerts. It also receives many overseas visitors every year.

Wynkyn de Worde’s printing press, the first of its kind with movable type, was established at the site of the church more than 500 years ago, making St Bride’s the spiritual home of the press.

The church has fallen into a state of disrepair after years of neglect. The exterior hasn’t been cleaned for more than 40 years and has considerable damage to the stonework, and the interior hasn’t been looked at for almost as long.

The INSPIRE! Appeal, which is launching on March 21 with a lecture by author and historian Adrian Tinniswood, is hoping to secure £2.5 million between now and the end of the year.

More pictures:

A photo of an ancient grey building looking seriously dilapidated
Wren was commissioned to design 51 churches in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1666
© Daniel Shearing
A close-up photo of thin cracks in the ceiling of a historic building
Planners describe stonework falling from the building as "a grave concern"© Daniel Shearing
A photo of a tall white spire viewed from under autumn leaves with a bright blue sky in the backdrop
Wren's designs dominated the London skyline long before skyscrapers
© Daniel Shearing
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