John StottChris Sugden   Church of England Newspaper

As they had done at his funeral at All Souls in July, the heavens laid on a beautiful sunny morning for John Stott’s memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday January 13th.  The queue of 2200 people who attended. snaked back almost to the East End.

St Paul’s magnificent dome was a fitting canopy for a moving service which was  designed by John Stott himself and Chris Wright, the director of the Langham Partnership.  All Souls orchestra and gathered choir led the “stunning” music which included Beethoven, Handel, Sullivan and Elgar, beginning with the hymn by that proto- Evangelical Anglican Charles Wesley: “Jesus the name high over all”.  However the slower pace of the rallantandos in the hymns lost the congregation and the expected climaxes were diminished in slight choral chaos.

For someone who at the start of his ministry was criticised by the Bishop of London for welcoming non-Anglicans to the Lord’s table, it was a remarkable tribute that the three senior clerics of the Church of England  (Canterbury, York and London) were in attendance at his memorial service, leading the prayers and the giving the blessing. Who else would command such a turnout except the Royal Family?

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