A project developed by the Heritage of London Trust Operations attracted a grant of £454,60 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This grant was matched from a variety of sources, and supported the installation of a kitchen and WC; the construction of a new canopy roof to protect surviving fabric; and the conservation of the mosaics. Included in the Heritage Lottery Fund award was funding for a Project Heritage Officer for 12 months, as well as funding for a website, resources for schools and interpretation material.
The 2015 work involved recording and securing in situ (on site) the surviving mosaics in the east end. The centrepiece which forms part of the Victoria Cross memorial is a mosaic of St George and the Dragon – this was cleaned and a few missing tesserae (small pieces of tiles) were recreated. All other mosaics were repaired in situ. You will see missing pieces of tesserae along the mosaics in the arches. It is considered good conservation practice to repair what exists and only recreate when there is enough evidence of what was there before, or when not doing so prevents a building from functioning properly.
At the heart of the Heritage Lottery Fund project is the aspiration to make St George's, and the heritage it embodies, accessible to a greater number of people, and to ensure that it survives as a viable resource for the local community. To this end, the Heritage Lottery Fund project included the requirement to establish a local group capable of running events, managing volunteers, and administering a Friends Group to encourage the active participation of local people. Hence, the formation of the Woolwich Garrison Church Trust.
HOLTOP is grateful to all those who made the initial stage of work at St George's possible, including:
- Architectural Heritage Fund
- Heritage of London Trust
- Armed Forces Covenant Fund
- Cory Environmental, Defence Estates
- Foyle Foundation
- John Paul Getty Junior Charitable Trust
- Pilgrim Trust
- Royal Artillery Charitable Trust
- Ironmongers Company
- Historic England
- Victoria Cross & George Cross Asscociations
- The CAYO Foundation