Two Services

On Sunday 29th June 1997 I had the privilege of giving the annual Thomas More Commemorative Sermon at Matins (from the Prayer Book) in Chelsea Old Church. This historic London church contains More's Chapel, with striking memorials to Henry's Chancellor (though the statue facing Cheyne Walk and the river is not on church property). The Vicar, the Revd. Dr Peter Elvy, had kindly asked me to talk mainly about Tyndale, and the Reformation context, which I was glad to do. The music, from a few young singers, was outstandingly good. The distinguished congregation, which included the Mayor and Mayoress of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, was strikingly attentive, and welcoming. Though it had not been possible to give advanced notice to members, the Tyndale Society was represented, and there was considerable interest.

St Dunstan's-in-the-West, Fleet Street, is the only church in which we know for certain that Tyndale preached. This was the location for a joint occasion on Tuesday 8th July arranged by the Tyndale Society and the Prayer Book Society. Evensong was conducted by the Vicar, the Revd. John Satter, and the organist was Sir Nicholas Jackson. This historic London church has a Victorian building, and is not at all as it was in 1524 when Tyndale preached there: but the presence of Tyndale was keenly felt, in the Old Testament and New Testament readings, and in the fine sermon given by one of our patrons, Baroness James of Holland Park (P.D. James), who is also a Vice-President of the Prayer Book Society. We are honoured to be able to print Lady James' address in the current Journal. Over fifty people, from both organisations, were made warmly welcome by the Vicar. It is an event that we hope may be repeated.

David Daniell


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