ReIGNITE 2021 takes off with party and Time Capsule!

Published on Thu, 22 Nov 2018 09:38

Local business leaders and supporters crowded into St John’s Waterloo on Thursday November 15th for the burial of a Time Capsule to launch ‘Reignite 2021’, the campaign to renovate the landmark building south of the river. St John’s, which stands opposite the IMAX in Waterloo, was last renovated in 1951 for the Festival of Britain and is now in urgent need of an upgrade.

Representatives from South Bank BID, We are Waterloo, SE1 News, Resonance Radio and many others came to show their support for Reignite 2021. Also present were Baroness Jenny Jones and the many arts and charity organisations based at St John’s, including Southbank Sinfonia, Waterloo Festival and The Bridge at Waterloo. 

Eric Parry Architects, whose renovation plans for St John’s were on display on large panels for the first time, were on hand to talk people through the proposed remodelling of the entrance and crypt. 

Sparklers were lit as the crowd moved out onto the church’s forecourt for the burial of the Time Capsule, and the sound of bugle rang through the night as the box was carefully buried next to the war memorial.

Giles Goddard, vicar of St John’s, explained that the unique Time Capsule box contained a mix of objects “capturing the essence of 2018, for future generations to uncover”. He pointed out that in burying such an object, St John's was also sowing seeds of a new vision for the large church.

“St John’s has helped so many over the centuries,” explained Goddard. “It was an air-raid shelter during the war, a haven for the homeless in the 1980s, and today offers music concerts, art exhibitions and employment courses. Now the church needs a helping hand itself. With our Reignite 2021 campaign, we aim to raise a further £1 million to ensure the St John’s can be renovated in time for the seventieth anniversary of the Festival of Britain.”

The proposed designs for St Johns include a new entrance, disabled access into the crypt, new kitchens and toilets and a remodelled crypt. To find out more, or get involved in the campaign to renovate St John’s, go to 

There will also be a New Year's Caelidh dance fundraiser on January 4th. Tickets available at

Photo Credit: Eleanor Bentall

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