Westminster Abbey marks Blind Veterans UK centenary

The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor The Lady Flight, attended a Service of Thanksgiving to mark the Centenary of Blind Veterans UK at Westminster Abbey at Noon on Tuesday 6th October 2015. The National Anthem was sung.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding: 'Westminster Abbey, this great church, here for over a thousand years, representing the beauty and power of almighty God at the heart of our national life, welcomes us to explore the goodness and love of God. Today we come to give thanks to God for a hundred years of loving care for veterans who have been blinded in a century of conflicts. We give thanks for the courage and strength of those for whom blindness is not a crippling disability but a condition of life and for the support that helps them triumph'.

Alastair Caplin, violinist, played Reach your hand to my shoulder, written for the service.

David Dimbleby, broadcaster, introduced an audio collage of Testimonies.

Billy Baxter, Rehabilitation Training Liaison Officer, Blind Veterans UK, read Psalm 145: 1 – 16. Barbara Windsor MBE, actor, read Romans 8: 31 – end.

The Address was given by the Dean.


Read the sermon transcript


Prayers were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Precentor, and said by: Timothy Davis, Chairman, Blind Veterans UK; Ben Smith, member Blind Veterans UK, assisted by Christopher Smith; Michael Maddox, volunteer, Blind Veterans UK; Father Ian Evans QHC CF, Assistant Chaplain-General and Corps Colonel, Royal Army Chaplains' Department; the Reverend Professor Vernon White, Canon in Residence. Gwawr Edwards, soprano, sang Pie Jesu from Faure's Requiem.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir, conducted by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist, and before the service by Martin Ford, Assistant Organist.

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