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Christopher Hildyard

The Reverend Christopher Hildyard, Minor Canon and Sacrist of Westminster Abbey, was buried in St Faith's chapel in the Abbey. An oval stone tablet, by Paul Cooper, with a carved shield of arms above it was installed in September 1989. The inscription reads: 

In this chapel rest the ashes of Christopher Hildyard L.V.O. M.A. 28th April 1901-17th May 1987 Minor Canon 1928-1973, Sacrist 1958-1973, Sacrist Emeritus, Chaplain at Westminster Hospital 1937-1956. An eye for beauty, a heart for friendship, a tongue for wit. He enriched the Sacristy with taste and discernment, proclaimed the Scriptures to the edification of God's people and served the Abbey with fidelity and distinction

The arms show "three mullets or, a chevron argent". His family was of Saxon origin and his father, Reverend Lionel Hildyard, was a musician, cricketer and Minor Canon at St George's chapel, Windsor. His mother Dora, daughter of Robert Hildyard, was a relative and he had a sister Noel. His great uncle was General Sir Henry Hildyard. He was born at Windsor Castle and sang in the choir there (he was present at Edward VII's funeral). Educated at Repton and Cambridge he was ordained in 1925. In 1928 he became an assistant Minor Canon at Westminster Abbey and a Minor Canon in 1932. As Sacrist he was in charge of all the vestments and plate. He was a good artist and designed the figures for the Abbey's Christmas Crib in 1965 (the figures were carved in Oberammergau). He was to have married a titled lady but he broke it off and died unmarried at his house, no.2 The Cloister, in the Abbey precincts.

Occupation

Artist; priest/minister

Location

St Faith's Chapel

Memorial Type

Grave; tablet

Material Type

Stone

Christopher Hildyard
Christopher Hildyard self-portrait

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Christopher Hildyard
Christopher Hildyard tablet

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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At different times of the day, or in different seasons, the light falling in the Abbey will light up something that you have walked past a million times and never seen before.

Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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