Ministry of Defence

Battle of Britain chapel saved from closure

Tue 04 Jul 2017
By Eno Adeogun

A WW2 memorial chapel to the aircrew that died protecting Britain's shores from German attack has been saved from closure thanks to a £2m Heritage Lottery grant.

Stuart Hobley, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said to the Express: "It will provide a suitable memorial to the actions of 'The Few'."

Last year budget cuts saw the Ministry of Defence (MoD) withdraw its £50,000 annual funding for St George's RAF Chapel of Remembrance at Biggin Hill, Kent. The MoD said its running cost was no longer an "appropriate use of defence resources".

An e-petition on the Government website attracted more than 30,000 signatures calling for the chapel to be saved.

Martin Mitchener, who began the petition said: "If no one or group takes on the responsibility of this magnificent Memorial Chapel, it will be closed without access to the public or church services."

“Sir Winston Churchill” by BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Winston Churchill had said the chapel should be a permanent shrine to 'the few' who gave their lives during the Battle of Britain. Their names are inscribed in the chapel.

With the former Prime Minister's support, the Grade II-listed building was built in 1951 next to the Spitfire station used to defend Britain from Luftwaffe attacks in 1940.

Part of the new funding will be spent on renovating the building while the rest will go towards funding an adjacent £5m Biggin Hill Memorial Museum.

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