Bombed during World War II, St George’s Garrison Church survives as an evocative ruin with recently conserved mosaics, and a modern canopy roof, for all to enjoy.

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St George’s Day, 23rd April 2023

Despite the weather doing its best to deter, 125 people turned out for the St George's Day Service at the Church on the afternoon of April 23rd. The Service is targeted at youth groups and there were cadets from the Army and the RAF as well as contingents from the Scouts and the Boys Brigade.

The Service began with the presentation of the banners by each of these groups to the Revd Chris Moody and the Revd Adam Scott, who were jointly presiding. There were readings featuring acts of courage from each of the organisations represented and definitions of courage from such diverse figures as Pablo Casals, Sir Winston Churchill and Henry Ford. The hymn ‘who would true valour see’ containing the couplet, "Hobgoblin nor foul fiend/ can daunt his spirit" produced the theme of the talk about the meaning of hobgoblins. Our virtuoso keyboard player Nicholas Mannoukas provided a great accompaniment to all the hymns; All Things Bright and Beautiful, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands and Jerusalem.

But the highlight for most of us was the performance by the RAF Cadets Band, immaculately turned out, exceptionally well drilled and producing a great sound. After the Service most of the congregation stayed behind for tea and refreshments and a chat. And at last the sun came out.

We were delighted to welcome the military attaches of Germany, Australia and Canada to the Service.

We have received quite lot of tributes already. Two will suffice:

Bob and Sue Yates: “We enjoyed the St George’s Day Service yesterday enormously. It is good to see so many enthusiastic, committed and talented young people prepared to give their time and energy in such a way. The Garrison Church is such a worthwhile venue, even on such a challenging day as yesterday. Congratulations on a very successful afternoon.”

Lt Col Nic Zorab CO 1PORR (the principal military presence in Woolwich: “Thank you for yesterday’s Service. It was a fantastic demonstration of community spirit and the themes of courage and service were very fitting.”

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RAF Cadets Band
Flag bearers from the Scouts, Boys Brigade and Army Cadets
Military attaches from Australia, Germany and Austria

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St George's Garrison Church in Woolwich, with its modern canopy roof and stunning mosaics, is both an evocative ruin and a contemporary space. Designed by Thomas H Wyatt in an Italian-Romanesque style, the Church was built between 1862-63 to serve the Royal Artillery in Woolwich. Today it is run by a local group, the Woolwich Garrison Church Trust who are committed to making it available for all to visit and enjoy. Directly opposite the Barracks in Woolwich, South East London, come and enjoy its beauty and peaceful garden.

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