In 1923 Dr GT Thalben-Ball was appointed organist and choirmaster. This musician, later world- renowned, was to serve the church even longer than his predecessor, John Hopkins, retiring in 1982 after 59 years in office. One reason for his fame was the record made in 1927 of Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer by Thalben-Ball and the boy soloist Ernest Lough. The recording became world-famous and brought visitors to the church from all parts of the globe.
In 1941 on the night of 10 May, when Nazi air raids on London were at their height, the church was badly damaged by incendiary bombs. The roof of the round church burned first and the wind soon spread the blaze to the nave and choir. The organ was completely destroyed, together with all the wood in the church. Restoration took a long time to complete. The choir, containing a new organ given by Lord Glentannar, was the first area of the church to be rededicated in March 1954. By a stroke of good fortune the architects, Walter and Emil Godfrey, were able to use the reredos designed by Wren for his 17th-century restoration. Removed by Smirke and Burton in 1841, it had spent over a century in the Bowes Museum, County Durham, and was now re-installed in its original position. The round church was rededicated in November 1958.
Probably the most notable feature of today’s church is the east window. This was a gift from the Glaziers’ Company in 1954 to replace that destroyed in the war. It was designed by Carl Edwards and illustrates Jesus’ connection with the Temple at Jerusalem. In one panel we see him talking with the learned teachers there, in another driving out the money-changers. The window also depicts some of the personalities associated with Temple Church over the centuries, including Henry II, Henry III and several of the medieval Masters of the Temple.