Stationed on an island in the middle of the Strand, for hundreds of years St Clement Danes has been a quiet retreat from the noise of the city. The Wren building, damaged in the war, was rebuilt by the RAF to become its spiritual heart, a place of remembrance, solace and reflection, a living church open to all. Also home to a rich musical tradition, St Clements is the church where the ringing bells say ‘oranges and lemons’.
The bells are often rung “full circle” in the English traditional style. They can be heard on the 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th Sunday mornings between 10 and 11am. They are also rung for many other special services.
The bells are also often used for bell practices by a number of ringing societies. It is possible to view the bells by arrangement with Alan Taylor. Who can be contacted via the church or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The St Clement Danes carillon is now silent. The Carillon has reached the end of its useful life and has been removed for essential maintenance and refurbishment. However, the good news is that there will be a far better system when it is installed later this summer. Therefore, please note that the bells can only now be rung by the bell ringers and, as a result of this work, unfortunately, there will be no more ‘Oranges and Lemons’ ringing out from our bells until later in the year.
The oldest bell in the tower is the Sanctus Bell. Cast in 1588, the year of the Spanish Armada, by Robert Mot, founder of the Whitechapel Foundry.
St. Clement Danes was destroyed during the blitz and rebuilt years later. The church has a very diverse history and is now the official church of the RAF.
The Church can be used for many celebratory events including churches and baptisms.
Service personnel and the dependants of former serving personnel may marry at St Clement Danes. Usually, the details of the procedure are discussed with the Resident Chaplain and then an Application to Marry by Archbishop of Canterbury’s Licence is prepared by the couple and the Resident Chaplain. This is then sent to the Archbishop’s Legal Department for approval. As St Clement Danes is a Service Chapel (RAF), special arrangements exist for marriage after divorce (for service personnel) and members of other Christian denominations (Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches) may be married here by an RAF Chaplain according to the rites and ceremonies of their own churches.
Baptisms are a regular feature of worship at st Clement Danes and you should again arrange this by discussing the details with the Resident Chaplain.