Campbell Smith and Cousins were delighted and proud to have been appointed by Sir Robert McAlpine to assist with restoring and refurbishing St Marylebone Parish Church, a Grade 1 listed building in London.

The project is part of the Changing Lives campaign, one of Central London’s largest and most significant community projects.

The building remained open throughout, with the team putting in measures to minimise disruption to worshippers and site visitors.

The project will remove the parish from Historic England’s Buildings at Risk register and externally, conservation and restoration work will reinstate lost architectural features of the Georgian Parish Church.

Specialist Finishes

Marylebone Parish Church


Project tasks and challenges

Inside the parish church, works included specialist decoration, conservation and restoration to the Nave ceiling, the refurb of the Crypt, along with attendance works to other central nave areas and external facades.

The external walls were scraped back, sealed with a Keim Algicide Anti-Fungal Solution, filled using Keim Spachtel, sanded, and resealed, with the final 2 coats of Keim Soldalit mineral-based paint being applied.

The unpainted portico soffit was extremely dirty and had to be washed fully prior to any decoration applied, that being said all walls were finished prior to the late request of the portico works and therefore the challenge was to protect all finished surfaces prior to cleaning.

Upon the completion of cleaning, the portico was painted in the same product and colour as the walls.

The External North façade cross above the Narthex doors was stripped, reprimed, and regilded using 22ct Gold leaf and works were also carried out to the bell tower frame. As you can imagine the bell tower was quite a tight space to work in with only enough space for 1 operative, therefore radio communication was key, with regular spot checks. After a lead test it was confirmed that lead was present within the existing finish, which was requested to be stripped. Peelaway 7 was used and the site required 2 visits to ensure all existing paint was removed. Once stripped we offered up for an architectural inspection to allow an opportunity for any structural repairs to be made, once signed off we recoated in Rustoleum satin finish.

The Nave ceiling received a conservation clean to all gilded and moulded sections, prior to the redecorations of all the flat panelled sections. The flat panels were in an extremely poor condition which required a skim fill of filler prior to an overpaint using classidur. The 4 main beds of the ceiling were re plastered using lime, these had to have PH testing prior to any application of paint to ensure that the product applied would be compatible with the lime.

Although the project was not a full overhaul, a variety of works took place on this project over the entirety of the site, each with a unique methodology.