Russia has inherited a legacy of thousands of abandoned brick and stone village churches from the Soviet period, when most were used for storage, village clubs or simply abandoned and stripped for materials. Many of the churches are listed and are built on the scale of cathedrals, boasting incredible wall paintings. Many are almost entirely unknown and have never been recorded.
Since 2004 Clem has travelled to these far-flung churches with Russian charity The Village Church Society, observing their repair work and cataloguing the problem together with Russian architectural historians.
Clem Cecil is Director of Pushkin House. In 2004 after a period as Moscow Correspondent for The Times, she was co-founder of the Moscow Architecture Preservation Society. Between 2012 and 2016 she was Director of SAVE Britain's Heritage and SAVE Europe's Heritage.