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24 April 2013 Royal Visit to Memorial Community Church

News release  25 April 2013

See photos here

See Baptist Times report here

On Wednesday 24 April 2013 Memorial Community Church welcomed visitors from the National Churches Trust including its vice-patron, HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO.

The National Churches Trust gave the church £20,000 in 2011 to help install new toilets and disabled access to the Welcome Centre at the back of the church, and last year awarded a further grant of £40,000 towards the last phase of high-level repairs needed to stop rain coming in the building. That work is due to take place this summer.

HRH The Duke of Gloucester and other visitors enjoyed a tour of the building, including the Memorial Bells which are cast with the names of 200 local men killed in the First World War plus the name of the only member of the royal family to be killed serving in that war.

The visitors enjoyed lunch prepared by some members of the We Are Family parenting support group, run by local charity Alternatives, that meets in the building. And over lunch HRH The Duke of Gloucester and other guests met representatives of the church and also people involved with groups that use the building: Alternatives Trust East London; the Bridges project for the homeless; the Plus Centre; and the new Active Tuesdays sessions for older residents that have started in the Welcome Centre.
The visit was the last stop on a private tour by HRH The Duke of Gloucester of three East End churches that have received grants from the National Churches Trust and was arranged as part of the National Churches Trust’s 60th anniversary year celebrations.

For more information contact Philippa King on 07718 065187 or email

You can listen to an interview that took place on Sunday 14 April at Memorial Community church on BBC Radio London:

Memorial Community Church was formed in 2006 when Memorial Baptist Church merged with St Andrew’s Church and it has been working since then to repair and redevelop its landmark building for greater community use. The building houses a number of small charities and community projects. The latest, launched this month, is Active Tuesdays in the Welcome Centre, 10 am – 3 pm every Tuesday, with a range of activities for older residents including gardening, crafts and a chance to ‘get online’ and use a computer.

The Duke of Gloucester is a grandson of George V and a first cousin to The Queen. He became heir to his father's titles following the death of his elder brother, Prince William of Gloucester, in a flying accident on 28 August 1972. He succeeded his father in June 1974. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester live at Kensington Palace and have three children.

Since 1953, the National Churches Trust has allocated over 12,000 grants and loans, valued at £85 million in 2012 prices, to help fund repairs and upgrades to churches, chapels and meeting houses across the UK. From the start, grants were available to churches of all Christian denominations and gradually the remit was extended to include Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In recent years, funding has extended to help places of worship install modern facilities such as kitchens, heating and toilets to enable greater community use.

Also taking part in the visit were: Lt Col Alastair Todd, Private Secretary and Comptroller to TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Luke March DL, Chairman National Churches Trust, Claire Walker, Chief Executive National Churches Trust, Jennie Page CBE, Trustee National Churches Trust, John Maudslay, The Mercers’ Company Church Committee ,Georgina Nayler, Director The Pilgrim Trust and Michael Elks, Partner RadcliffesLeBrasseur.

Posted Thursday 25th April 2013 by Philippa King

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Get in touch

The Welcome Centre is open Wednesdays 10.30 am – 12 and Thursdays 2 – 4 pm. Please feel free to drop in for a chat.

At other times, contact the church office on:

020 7474 6603