"I see you've got Sir John Betjeman's guide. This was his parish church, during the war."

"Was it?"

"Yes. But his attention was rather diverted by St Paul's. He was an air raid warden, and there was one particular night - the twenty-ninth of December, 1940 - when there was a very heavy air-raid, lots of incendiary bombs, and a number of churches in the area were hit, including this one. And a lot of shops and offices and homes, of course. But Winston Churchill in his wisdom decreed that all fire-fighting resources should be diverted to St Paul's, because it was regarded as a symbolic building, and it would be a blow to the nation's morale if it were destroyed. So that's where Sir John and all the rest of them were, while the lesser buildings like this one burned. Almost all the internal fittings you see here have been restored or brought in from other churches."

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