WHEN a V2 flying bomb hit it in 1944, St George’s Garrison Church was left a roofless shell.

Now, thanks to £396,000 from the Heritage lottery Fund, the Grand Depot Road’s Grade II listed building and its gardens will get some much-needed restoration work.

Up to twenty students will work alongside mural conservators under a scheme run by conservation charity Heritage of London Trust Operations to preserve the remains.

Taking up to two years to complete and including setting up a St George’s Woolwich group, the project promises to open up the whole site to the public for the first time.

Project organiser Laura Norris said: “We’re looking forward to setting up the friends, getting local people involved with the restoration, and opening up the church to visitors.

“I hope that the restoration of the mosaics will inspire young artists to learn this ancient craft.”

Work will include a tensile roof built above the building to help conserve its mosaic interior. News Shopper: A photo looking east in 1933

An educational programme and facilities for community visits will be organised along with a possible plaque explaining the building’s significance.

Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund for London Wesley Kerr, said: “With its richly evocative mosaics, it has survived Second World Ward bombing and decades of exposure to the weather.

“The Royal Artillery is inseparable from the history of Woolwich and now everybody will be able to visit this incredible space.”

Lottery funding makes up just over half the project costs, and there is a further £120,000 to be raised.

To register your interest for the Friends or to make a donation towards the project, email tara@heritage oflondon.com Alternatively, write to Tara Draper-Stumm, Heritage of London Trust, 34 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0DH. News Shopper: Visit of HM King George V on March 27 1928

A brief history of St George’s

The church was built between 1863 and 1867 to serve the Woolwich Garrison community.

It was designed in the Lombardi style of stock brick construction with red and blue detailing, and was decorated with mosaics, inlaid marble, and monuments to battles and servicemen fallen in armed conflict.

The church windows were blown out during the First World War, but in 1928 it became the Royal Garrison Church after a visit by King George V.

However, just 16 years later, the roof was damaged by a bomb, leading to a partial demolition, with only the lower sections of the perimeter walls standing.

Today, the church remains consecrated and is used for open air services by personnel in the Royal Artillery Barracks.

Some of its interior remains, including the Victoria Cross memorial with a mosaic depicting St George and the dragon.

It is flanked by marble tablets inscribed with the names of all deceased gunners who won the Victoria Cross from the Crimean War to the Second World War.