"Most of the bombs dropped at the end of the church where the entrance was. The church organist lived very near and he rushed round and started to play in an effort to deflect the flames away from the precious organ. Daddy remembered the dramatic scene of pigeons fluttering around helplessly near the flames which were rising through the roof of the beautiful old church, while the organist played the music of Bach (perhaps ironically a German composer). An American officer came over from the Officers' Club opposite and stood watching in tears. My father too always spoke of this scene with tears in his eyes. I knew the church well because I used to sing in the choir. I remember a Christmas Party given by the Americans for children, with oranges, chocolate and balloons and all the things we couldn't get during the war. The Americans were very generous." Memories of Mrs Pauline Burden from the BBC's WW2 People's War.
Fire-bombs caused very serious damage to the fabric of St Mary Abbots in March 1944. Although the nave and chancel roofs were destroyed and damage done to stained glass and the organ, the main structure was not seriously harmed. There is a story that while the fire-fighters fought the blaze, an air raid warden plaued the organ to keep the water out of the pipes thus perhaps preventing more serious damage.
The Church was temporarily repaired to allow services to continut; and in February 1956 a service of thanksgiving was held in the restored Church.
St Paul's Church in Vicarage Gate, a daughter church of St Mary Abbots, was also gutted in the war but was not rebuilt.
The PCC of St Mary Abbots with Christ Church and St Philip is a Registered Charity : Number 1132235