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Monday, September 26, 2016
Bombed London church to become reconliciation centre
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¬†The rebuilding of the mediaeval city church destroyed by an IRA bomb has begun. Now that fundraisers have nearly reached the £3.6million target for restoration, the Anglican Bishop of London, Rt Rev Richard Chartres has given the go-ahead to rebuild St Ethelburga's as a peace and reconciliation centre. Most of the church was reduced to rubble during the blast, which destroyed part of the City on 24 April 1993. At the time many experts felt the devastation was so total, the building could not be restored. The winner of a design competition proposed that the ruin could be 'framed' in a glass box while the remaining site was used for offices. Campaigners including many former parishioners and the Royal Fine Art Commission protested at this idea. The late Cardinal Hume and Bishop Chartres devised the current plan. Under their scheme, the 14th century facade and 18th century bell tower will be reconstructed, using original stones which were salvaged and carefully conserved by archaeologists. The shattered 15th century east window will also be retained as a symbolic reminder of conflict. Bishop Chartres said he hoped the church would become a centre "where memorials to peacemakers can be placed" and where people could make apologies for wars and conflicts. He said: "It is my hope that by the tenth anniversary of the bomb, the centre will be using the potential of the faith communities to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem."
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