Much of work of the St Mellitus Organ Restoration Project was done by volunteers, from the parishioners who put together the proposal for the restoration, to our fundraising and management boards, and our volunteer photographers.
Our volunteer research group has created a digital archive of the soldiers’ stories. Using online archives, volunteers are bringing to light the real lives of the soldiers commemorated by the organ. The group meets in person at St Mellitus to share experiences and help each other with research, and also organises talks and visits. We welcome new researchers as the job is not yet done!
One of our volunteers, David Norton, spoke to us about what his work on the project means to him:
“I’m a journalist and have lived a couple of hundred yards from St Mellitus for 17 years, after making the conversion from south to north London. My wife Aileen and I were married at the church in 2007 and my son Joe was baptised here three years later. Becoming involved in the research project has been rewarding in many ways, perhaps most of all in strengthening my connection with the lovely local community among whom I have always felt so at home. And no less important has been developing a new appreciation of the unheralded and unsung locals of the past who fought and often died to preserve the freedom we enjoy today”
Our archive group meetings are an opportunity to learn more about Stroud Green during the First World War. In 2020 we organised a guided historic walk through the streets around St Mellitus, led by Islington Guided Walks, after which one volunteer noted: “I am going to look afresh at the men I’m researching…They are emerging as real people, not just names and statistics.”