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Celebration

2014 June 24
by Gordon Reid

On Saturday evening, St Clement’s saw the first “Five Cope Evensong and Benediction” for many years. It was  in celebration of three things: my 45th anniversary as a priest, my tenth anniversary of being Rector of St Clement’s, and my immanent retirement. Almost 200 people came, including Sir Peter Westmacott, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the United States, and his wife Lady Westmacott. I have known Sir Peter since he was a more junior diplomat and I was the Chaplain in the British Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. The rest of the congregation was made up of members of St Clement’s congregation and friends of mine, mainly from Philadelphia, but also from New York, Washington, D.C. and even one from Canada.

The Choir sang as beautifully as always and therefore astonished those who had never heard them before! We had the psalm to Anglican chant, the Canticles’ setting was Stanford in A, and the Anthem was “The Spirit of the Lord” by Elgar. The Benediction hymns were also settings by Elgar, which have always been among my favourites. I had chosen it all, of course, as I did the other two hymns “Love divine, all loves excelling” and “The day thou gavest” to the tune (naturally) of “St Clement”, and Peter Conte, our marvellous Choirmaster, had written a special descant in this last hymn.  Sheer bliss, the whole thing! And of course Solemn Benediction crowned it all.

Very many thanks to everyone who put such a lot of effort into making this a very special celebration for me.

 

5 Responses leave one →
  1. Bruce Bridgewood permalink
    June 24, 2014

    It all sounds delightful. When is yr last Mass ?

    • Gordon Reid permalink*
      July 9, 2014

      My last “big” Mass will be the High Mass on the Assumption. My genuine last Mass will be August 31.

  2. June 26, 2014

    That seems cool. Will somebody put the service on YouTube?

  3. The Rev.Walter S. Johnson permalink
    July 9, 2014

    Congratulations on your new journey in life,and may God continue to bless you.
    Enjoy your retirement Holy Father and remember you are always in God’s hands.

    Pax

    Walter

  4. September 2, 2014

    I hope you’re posted to Malta. I’ve been following your blog for a while and it would be great to have you here

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