Press & Communications

22 Nov 2013

A Service to Dedicate a Memorial to C S Lewis, writer, scholar and apologist, was held at Westminster Abbey on Friday 22nd November 2013.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding: ‘’Fifty years after the death of C S Lewis, we assemble to give thanks for his life and work. We celebrate his work as a scholar, as one of the most significant Christian apologists of the twentieth century, and as the author of stories that have inspired the imagination and faith of countless readers and film-goers.

‘Here are buried or memorialised over three thousand men and women of our country and of the Commonwealth and of the English-speaking world. Today the name of C S Lewis will join that distinguished roll when we dedicate a permanent memorial to him near the graves and memorials of poets and other writers in the South Transept.

‘As we celebrate C S Lewis, so we shall pray that scholars, writers and apologists may be inspired by his example, and that his work will continue to exercise an influence for good on young and old alike.’

The Address was given the former Archbishop of Canterbury, the Right Reverend and Right Honourable The Lord Williams of Oystermouth.

During the service Beyond Personality: The New Men, an excerpt of a broadcast made for BBC Radio by C S Lewis, was played.

Dr Francis Warner, C S Lewis's last pupil, read Isaiah 35: 1-7; 10 and Professor Helen Cooper, Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English, University of Cambridge (the Chair held by C S Lewis 1954-63) read 2 Corinthians 4: 5-end.

Douglas Gresham, younger stepson of C S Lewis, read from The Last Battle.

At the dedication in the south transept of the Abbey church Dr Michael Ward, Senior Research Fellow, Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, asked the Dean formally to receive and dedicate the memorial stone. Flowers were laid by Walter Hooper, Trustee and Literary Adviser, the Lewis Estate.

The prayers were led by the Reverend Dr James Hawkey, Minor Canon and Sacrist of Westminster, and said by the Reverend Philip Hobday, Chaplain, Magdalene College, Cambridge; the Reverend Professor Vernon White, Canon Theologian, Westminster Abbey; Professor Simon Horobin, Professor of English Language and Literature, University of Oxford, and Tutorial fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford; the Reverend Adrian Dorrian, Rector, St Mark’s Dundela; and the Reverend Tim Stead, Vicar, Holy Trinity, Headington Quarry and the Reverend David Stanton, Canon in Residence, Westminster Abbey.

The service was sung by the Special Service Choir of Westminster Abbey conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Martin Ford, Assistant Organist. Peter Holder, Organ Scholar, played before the service.

A retiring collection was taken in aid of the C S Lewis Scholarship in Medieval Literature.

SEE ALSO:

The Order of Service (PDF 417KB)

Audio includes: C S Lewis in the sole surviving recording of his broadcasts for BBC Radio, Douglas Gresham, younger stepson of C S Lewis reading from The Last Battle and the Address given by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, the Right Reverend and Right Honourable The Lord Williams of Oystermouth.

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