$25 (all proceeds benefit preservation of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury)
The Inspiring History of a Special Relationship
by Nancy Carver
Publication Date: First week of November 2020
Now available for pre-sale, for delivery on publication date. Order now exclusively from America's National Churchill Museum online store.
When the remarkable British architect, Christopher Wren, redesigned the 12th century Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury after the Great Fire of London, he never envisioned that the church would someday honor an iconic British statesman. In fact, it honors Winston Churchill and his prescient Sinews of Peace/Iron Curtain speech, made in 1946 on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, that warned the world of continued Soviet territorial expansion and the dangers inherent in the spread of communism.
Westminster, a small, plucky, Midwestern College, believed that rebuilding and revitalizing the Wren church, severely damaged during World War II and destined for destruction, seemed an appropriate tribute to both Churchill and his speech, as well as to the indomitable and resilient spirit of the British people who survived some of their darkest hours during that time. A restored church in a new location seemed promising for the future of the building and the preservation of its past. To achieve that goal, Britain and the United States worked in partnership to relocate the church, stone by stone, from London to Missouri. Helping with that effort were numerous figures in politics, business, and religious organizations on both sides of the Atlantic as well as diverse individuals, including Douglas Fairbanks Jr., who took a leadership role in helping to raise funds and facilitate the partnership with Britain.
The inspiring story of the rebirth of St. Mary’s in the United States illustrates what Churchill meant when he said that the two countries have a special relationship that enables them to accomplish anything when they work together to accomplish a particular purpose. The son of an American mother and a British father, Churchill strongly believed that the two countries shared democratic values and ideals as well as a common heritage, the foundation for which was built by the sinews of history, language, law, and literature over the course of almost two thousand years. Today, the church stands as a symbol of the special relationship between the two countries and proof that the impossible is really possible.