Detail of plates

Visiting Us

St Clement Danes is the spiritual heart of the Royal Air Force.

Walking through the main door you find the original Wren design restored. Numerous gifts and memorials received from individuals, organisations and air forces from around the world create the sense of remembrance that is integral to the ethos of the church. It would be impossible to list all of them here.

The first is inlaid into the white Portland stone floor just as you walk in. The crest of the RAF is surrounded by the crests of eight Commonwealth air forces: Australia, Canada, Ceylon, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Rhodesia and South Africa, worked in brass, copper, white bronze and marble.

"Built by Christopher Wren1681. Destroyed by the thunderbolts of air warfare 1941. Restored by the Royal Air Force 1958".

Raise your eyes to the chancel arch and you will see the restored Stuart coat of arms which carries a Latin inscription translated above.

The wide pavement that leads up to the sanctuary and high altar has around 1,000 squadron and unit badges of Welsh slate let into it. A useful guide can be located on the back wall. Just above the door you will see the coat of arms of Viscount Trenchard, founder of the Royal Air Force. On the pillars are sconces decorated with the crests of RAF Commands.

St Clement Danes is flooded by light from the unusually high windows, with clear Reamy antique glass. The altar and sanctuary in their simplicity and beauty are the focus of worship. The altar is of oak with, immediately above it, a reredos adorned by a painting in gold, by Ruskin Spear, of the Annunciation.

Pelican in its Piety

Above this is a carving of the "Pelican in its Piety", a powerful symbol of sacrifice adopted by the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund as its crest. Rising above that is a stained glass window of the risen Christ, by Carl Edwards. To left and right are windows depicting the Madonna and Child and a pieta (the dead Christ resting in the arms of the Blessed Virgin). The altar cross, candlestick, vases and alms dish, all of Coronation hallmarked silver, were given anonymously by their maker.

Donate to St Clement Danes Church by clicking here.

Opening Hours

  • Entrance

    St Clement Danes Church is open from 09:00 to 16:00hrs Monday to Friday. Saturday 10:00 to 15:00hrs and Sundays 09:30 to 15:00hrs. For those wishing to contact St Clements Church, Kensington due to the Grenfell Tower Fire please call 020 7221 3548 Please accept our apologies as we have cancelled the Lunch time Service for Wednesday 4th October. Thank you

    About us

Books of Remembrance

Secrets of St Clement Danes

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