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St Martin-in-the-Fields reaches its £36 million target

News St Martin – Talking Points

Wednesday 19 May 2010

St Martin-in-the-Fields reaches its £36 million target

The Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Reverend Nicholas Holtam, has announced that the £36 million capital campaign for the Renewal of St Martin-in-the-Fields is complete thanks to a gift of £50,000 given by Schroders plc in memory of the late Lord Richardson of Duntisbourne.

Gordon Richardson was Chairman of Schroders (1965 – 1973) and became Governor of the Bank of England in 1973. He was married to Peggie, the eldest daughter of the Revd Dick Sheppard, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields (1914-27) who was responsible for making St Martin’s ‘The Church of the Ever Open Door’ which beganSt Martin’s work with homeless people in the Twentieth Century.

The project has taken 12 years from its inception to successful completion. Half the money was raised from public sources including £15.35 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The other half, comprising gifts from over 12,000 donors, was raised from a mix of individuals, trusts and businesses, including £2.5 million from Hong Kong in recognition of the workSt Martin’s does with its two Chinese speaking congregations and community centre. Support has also been received from theUSA where St Martin’s is the architectural model for some 2,500 churches includingSt Paul’s Chapel in the parish of Trinity Wall Street.

On 28th April 2008 The Archbishop of Canterbury preached at a Thanksgiving Service which was attended by HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron of St Martin’s Development Trust.

Ian Henderson CBE, who chaired the Development Trust and has been involved in the project from the beginning, said,

“From somewhat improbable beginnings we have seen the completion of a major piece of urban regeneration and improvement. It has been brought about by an alliance of very disparate skills, thrown together almost by accident in the conviction that if an objective/goal is worthwhile, there should be no denying it even if there is reputational or personal financial risk at stake.  On that journey almost everyone involved felt privileged to have been part of the team that has delivered benefits that were unimaginable at the outset”.

John Anderson, who chaired St Martin-in-the-Fields Building Project Ltd and received an OBE in the last New Year’s Honours for services to the Building Industry and to St Martin-in-the-Fields, said,

“The construction industry has delivered a very challenging project. Costain plc, the principal contractor, has led a world class team to deliver Eric Parry Architect’s scheme. The Renewal of St Martin’s has received much praise and a significant number of well deserved awards.”

The ReverendNicholas Holtamsaid that the real success of this project is in the variety of use to which the buildings are put with the church at its centre.

“We have just launched a new Mission Action Plan setting out our plans over the next three years. It will make full use of the new opportunities given to St Martin’s. There is a great deal of energy here; our church congregations are growing and our business is thriving and will make this community sustainable. The economic conditions mean that the number and depth of need of those who turn to us for help are also growing. Seeing the buildings well used is why we did the project which was always about people and not just architecture. It is a very great relief to know that the bills will be paid and the St Martin’s community is especially thankful to all who have helped complete this work.”   

On Sunday (16th May) the Bishop of London Baptised and Confirmed 14 adults at the morning Eucharist and prayers were said in thanksgiving for the completion of the capital campaign for the Renewal of St Martin’s.