'Iron Curtain' church
Winston Churchill Memorial and Library — Fulton, MO
Few houses of worship can claim
the history of The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, an
English Church designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1667. Originally
built in London and today located on the campus of Westminister College
in Fulton, the church is a popular site for weddings (see our cover).
Now the site of the Winston Churchill
Memorial and Library, the church was destroyed by German bombing during
World War II. In 1969, the ruins of the church were gathered up, moved
to Missouri and rebuilt as a memorial to Winston Churchill and his
historic “Sinews of Peace” address.
In 1946, with President
Truman and other dignitaries in attendance, Churchill spoke of an “iron
curtain” descending across
Europe in a speech delivered at the Westminster College campus. Churchill’s
life, his visit to Fulton and his seminal address are celebrated in
a museum located beneath the church.
In 1990, Churchill’s granddaughter,
artist Edwina Sandys, unveiled a sculpture created from a section of
the Berlin Wall and located just beyond the church. Christened “Breakthrough,” the
artwork (shown at left) features vibrant graffiti on its West Berlin
side, while the Communist East Berlin surface shows only grey concrete.
The memorial is open daily except
major holidays. For more information about the Winston Churchill Memorial
and Library, call (573) 592-5369 or log onto www2.westminster-mo.edu/cm/index.asp.