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Bedford Park Church marks 125th anniversary
Three vicars of St Michael's celebrate the occasion
A congregation of more than 250 celebrated the 125th anniversary of St Michael & All Angels church, Bedford Park, on Thursday night, May 13th. The service was attended by three of the nine vicars who've led the worship at the church over that time - Father Michael Champneys, Father Perry Butler and the incumbent Father Kevin Morris. A Solemn Sung Mass of Thanksgiving, with the choir and organ augmented by brass and drums, was followed by a champagne reception in the Parish Hall, where a splendid anniversary cake was cut by Father Kevin.
Father Michael Champneys, now in Chesterfield, was the incumbent between 1979 and 1983 and had presided over St Michaels’ centenary celebrations. He commented: ‘The style of worship at St Michael’s has changed not at all in the 20 years since I left, but Bedford Park is a very different place – in my day much of the property was divided into flats, not the beautifully restored houses I see now.”
During the service the choir sang music by Vaughan Williams and Bruckner, and the preacher was Father Mark Oakley, Parish Priest of St Paul’s Covent Garden– known as the ‘actors’ church’. The hymns included ‘The church’s one foundation’, which had been sung at the dedication 125 years before, and the Mass ended with Karg Elert’s wonderful organ voluntary: Nun Danket Alle Gott , complete with brass and tympanic accompaniment.
An exhibition of archive material, photographs and information charting the 125 years of St Michael’s history is currently on display in the church. The foundation stone of St Michael's was laid at a ceremony of dedication in May 1879.
May 16, 2004
listing of forthcoming events at St. Michael and All Angels
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