Celebrating RAF100 | 19

TheChurches of the RAF

Greater London, Strand, St Clement Danes.

The history of the people of the RAF is found in churches and chapels. They are places of worship and peace for airbases, former and current.

Parish churches tell the stories of the bravery of local aircrew, particularly in the First and Second World Wars, through memorials in wood, stone and glass.

ExploreChurches, the UK’s church tourism website, is marking 100 years of the RAF by featuring churches with close connections to the air force.

Read about five of the churches with links to the RAF below.You can read the full list at

St Clement Danes, the Strand St Clement Danes, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, is the spiritual heart of the RAF.On10May 1941, the church was directly hit by an incendiary bomb. It was not restored until 1958, and was adopted as the central church of the RAF.

It commemorates all personnel killed on active service with over 150,000 names in Books of Remembrance. The floor is inlaid with athousand slate squadron and unit badges. Many Colours and squadron standards are laid up here.

St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance,

Biggin Hill St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance at Biggin Hill is at RAF Biggin Hill, one of the principle bases in the Battle of Britain. The chapel is a memorial to all aircrew who died flying from the Biggin Hill Sector.

Stained glass windows commemorate squadrons, aircrew and ground crew.The reredos records in gold lettering the names of those who died. Spitfire and Hurricane replicas stand guard at the gate.

St Andrew,Little Snoring St Andrew’s holds aunique record of the events at the end of the Second World War. Between 1944 and 1945 LACDouglas Higgins painstakingly hand painted records of RAF Little Snoring’s victories

on four boards. Originally displayed in the officers’ mess, they are now on display in the church.

St John the Baptist, Scampton This lovely church sits on the edge of the village below RAF Scampton, where the Dambuster raids flew from. It is now home to the RedArrows.

There is an RAF chapel in the church with Squadron badges. There are several Commonwealth WarGraves in the churchyard, including Australian, New Zealand and Canadian aircrew.There are also eight graves for aGerman crew of an aeroplane brought down nearby.

St Michael, Coningsby RAF Coningsby is just half amile away from St Michael’s. It is home to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight as well as being the Main Operating Base for the RAF Southern Typhoons.

Achapel is furnished by members and friends of No 83 Pathfinder Squadron. It is dedicated to the memory of those airmen who lost their lives from RAF Coningsby.

ExploreChurches, run by the National Churches Trust, makes it easy to visit the UK’s rich history of churches, chapels and meeting houses. The website brings churches to life using high quality images and provides information about the history of each building:

Greater London, Biggin Hill, St George's Church, |Summer 2018 | ENVOY

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