Community project to replace church roof leads to discovery of Second World War shrapnel

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 October 2018

Church vicar Father David Sherratt with the two roofers. Picture: Michael Macey

Church vicar Father David Sherratt with the two roofers. Picture: Michael Macey


Roofers who were dismantling part of a Bexley church discovered hidden Second World War shrapnel while working on the 114-year-old roof.

The shrapnel discovered in the church.Picture: Michael MaceyThe shrapnel discovered in the church.Picture: Michael Macey

St Michael and All Angels Church in Abbey Wood originally served as a joint church and hall until the parish church opened in 1908.

The hall has since served a wide variety of community groups, including the 13th Woolwich Scout group, St Michael’s social club, the Abbey Wood Women’s Institute and many more.

The roof is being completely renewed as part of a project funded by Biffa Award, a fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through projects across the UK.

Whilst removing parts of the old roof, workers became aware that slates in the roof were not consistent, leading them to suspect that there had been some bomb damage during the war.

Once they had removed slates from the area, they found a piece of shrapnel embedded in the timbers.

The roofing work has also been phased to fit in with the migrating pattern of swifts, which nest under the eaves each summer after flying in from Africa each May.

They leave in late August on their return journey, and roofing work started two weeks after their departure.

Speaking about the restoration work on the church, Gillian French, Biffa Award head of grants, said: “We are thrilled that this historic church hall will continue to provide a space for community groups in the years to come.

“On top of that, the new roof is going to be brilliant for people and swifts!

“The new church hall roof will keep the community warm and dry all year round while the eaves will provide a home for the swifts over the summer months.”

Karen White, assistant group scout leader of the 13th Woolwich, said: “Our Scout Group has met at the hall for over 100 years, and throughout those years many children from the parish and wider community have benefitted from the Scouting we offer.

“The new roof is a vital step forward to enable us to continue this work.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Bexley Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Bexley Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Bexley Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Bexley news

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A large development in Erith has taken home a top award for regeneration.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Since Bexley Council launched its anti-litter campaign earlier this year, 1,000 Bexley residents have now made the commitment to pick up at least one piece of plastic litter a week.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Our reporter Liam Coleman met with the big man before a hectic few weeks.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Crossrail, London’s new east to west railway service, may be delayed even further and could require a £2billion funding boost, Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed.

Monday, December 10, 2018

A faulty filtation system in a fish tank is believed to have caused a fire at a care home in Thamesmead on Sunday (December 9).

Friday, December 7, 2018

Rail travellers are now benefiting from recently completed work to improve access to Erith Station and to enhance the forecourt and station building.

A Bexley man who was suspected in the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence has admitted being a kingpin in a £4 million drugs plot.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A burglar who stole three cars from homes in Dartford and Bexley has been sentenced to four years imprisonment.

Most read news

Digital Edition

Read the Bexley Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Bexley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24