This fund will significantly enhance the physical environment of St Bart’s both inside and outside the church. It will also support ambitious plans to share our remarkable history with even more people and develop currently underused spaces, so that the mental and spiritual well-being of local people is improved. In outline, these projects include:
Creating 21st Century facilities within our historic church
St Bart’s is well known for its warm hospitality. We are fortunate to have a congregation that values the importance of fellowship, with members who work hard to welcome friends old and new. The ill-conceived and poorly constructed annex to the church which currently houses inadequate toilets and a condemned kitchen as well as a sacristy is no longer usable. We have no disabled toilet facilities and its distance from the Cloister – our primary hospitality space - remains a perpetual failing. We therefore propose to use the vacant external space behind the South Transept to create modern facilities which will properly serve the needs of all visitors to Great St Bart’s together. These enhancements will enable us to cater properly for a range of cultural events and celebrations, private functions and school visits.
A Gardern Sanctuary
By removing the wholly inadequate North Annex, we have a unique opportunity to create a place of stillness and calm, special in a city rich in skyscrapers but poor in greenery. We plan to recreate a herb, physic and sensory garden, recalling our monastic heritage, as well as an attractive and environmentally friendly restful green space for everyone including those who visit or work in the City or hospital. In addition a new covered connection to the Lady Chapel Crypt, along with direct access from the Church to it’s gardens is to be added.
Reviving Bartholomew The Less
Situated within the grounds of the Hospital and much-loved by generations of doctors, nurses and patients, our Chapel At Ease, St Barts the Less, has many urgent and compelling needs. We want this to remain a warm and welcoming space for comfort, reflection and prayer to those who need it.
Building a centre for learning and education
Our triforium, or first floor gallery level, is currently unsafe for public access and houses an uncatalogued collection of historic artefacts. By building a second storey on the Cloister, we will at last be able to make this wasted space accessible to all and transform it into an exciting centre for learning about the history, art, and culture of the City, bringing to life the story of early medicine, medieval revolts, monastic life, and the Reformation. Through new interpretation, some of which will support national curriculum objectives, the centre will encourage visitors and schools from neighbouring, more deprived, boroughs to explore their local past. With the opening of the Museum of London in Smithfield, it’s also envisaged that, together, we will become a compelling focus of attraction for visitors to London.
Find out more
To support any of these projects, you can find out more about the ways you can give and get involved,