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St Clement Danes

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The central church of the Royal Air Force, with a rich musical history.

St Clement Danes is located on an island on the Strand, a short walk from Covent Garden. There has been a church on this site for more than 1,000 years, thought to have been built by Danes expelled from the City of London in the ninth century. The church was rebuilt in 1681 by Christopher Wren and a steeple by James Gibbs was added in 1719.

In 1941 incendiary bombs gutted the church, leaving only the walls and tower standing. The church was handed into the keeping of the Air Council in 1953, who launched a global appeal to raise funds for reconstruction. St Clements Danes was re-consecrated in 1958 as a perpetual shrine of remembrance for those killed in active service and for those of the Allied Air Forces who gave their lives in World War II.