10th Anniversary Celebrations, Hertford College. Oxford.

Report by Judith Munzinger

When starting to write this report, a question occurred to me. Why were we celebrating in 2004 the Tenth anniversary of the founding of our Society when the standard text on the inside cover of the Journal states that it was founded in 1995? In search of an answer, I consulted David Daniell’s tribute to Sir Edward Pickering (see TJ 26) which contains an excellent account of the beginnings of our Society. From this it appears that, although the Society was formally launched at a reception on 31 January 1995 in connection with the Let There Be Light exhibition, we date our creation from the many commemorative events that took place in 1994, above all the landmark Tyndale Memorial Service held in St Paul’s Cathedral on 6 October 1994, when a congregation of about 1000 was addressed by Lord Robert Runcie, former Archbishop of Canterbury.

It was therefore fitting that the celebration of the Tenth Anniversary should also be a church service, addressed by an eminent churchman, this time the Rt. Rev. Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester. The setting was the small, but imposing chapel of Hertford College, Oxford. Thus it was that a group of Tyndalians gathered in the sunny and peaceful quadrangle of the college on Saturday 12 June, prior to entering the chapel for a Festal Choral Evensong. We were welcomed by the Rev. Dr Simon Oliver, Chaplain of Hertford College, who led the service, which lived up to its name and was truly ‘festal’. The college choir sang most beautifully – for me, the highspots were Stainer’s Magnificat and the glorious anthem from Haydn’s Creation ‘The Heavens are Telling’. Bishop Michael preached a fine sermon (which we are unable to reproduce for our readers because he spoke without notes) and the lessons were read by our Chairman, David Daniell, and our co Vice-Chair, Mary Clow.

After the service, the choir and Bishop Michael joined us for a very substantial Real English Tea in the college dining hall – cucumber sandwiches, biscuits, fruit cake and gateaux - excellent to fuel people for their (sometimes long) return journeys.

Chatting with choir members, we learned that many of them were in the middle of examinations. We therefore wish to record in print our grateful thanks for their having given up a Saturday afternoon at this crucial time to provide some truly inspiring music to celebrate this important event in the life of our Society.

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