Jocelyn Perkins

The ashes of the Reverend Jocelyn Perkins, Minor Canon and Sacrist of Westminster Abbey, are buried in St Faith's chapel at the Abbey.


The stone memorial on the wall has black and red letters and reads:

Behind this stone are the ashes of JOCELYN HENRY TEMPLE PERKINS C.V.O. D.C.L. M.A. Minor Canon and Sacrist 1899-1958. Born 5 August 1870. Died 21 April 1962. A faithful priest, a forceful sacrist, founder of the Brotherhoods of Saint Edward and Saint Peter. He wrote with passion of Westminster Abbey and its ornaments and worked with zeal that its worship might be done decently and in order.

A tablet below reads:

In memory of Jocelyn and Zillah Perkins the marble paving in this chapel was given by their son Christopher 1971

It is just the western half of the chapel which has the new floor as the rest is composed of medieval tiles.

His life

He was the eldest son of John Robert Perkins and his wife Emma (Holmes) and was born at Hendon and educated at Bedford, Oxford, and Cuddesdon college. In 1894 he was ordained and was organist and assistant master at St Edward's School, Oxford and minor canon of Ely cathedral 1895-1900.

He was appointed to Westminster Abbey in December 1899 and installed in 1901. He did much to introduce new vestments and plate to enhance worship at the Abbey and wrote a three volume work on its Worship and Ornaments. The Brotherhood of St Edward, which he founded, is composed of former Abbey choristers who assist at services by carrying the cross and candles etc. He took part in four coronations and was on Westminster City Council 1919-1945. He was also general secretary of the British Columbia and Yukon Church Aid Society from 1910 and served with many other charities.

In 1896 he married Emma Zillah Taylor and she died in 1962. Their son Alan Christopher married Doris Speedy in the Abbey in 1927 (sons Gavin and Richard were baptised at the Abbey) but his son Michael died in the 1930s while working as a doctor at Westminster Hospital. He has been described by his contemporaries, young and old, as having a "voice like a grating pencil on a slate", "unkempt but with courtly manners" and he could be "rather aggressive and could go to sleep anywhere".

His brother Eric (died 1970) left a bequest for re-casting 8 of the Abbey bells, which were dedicated in 1971.

Further Reading

"Sixty Years at Westminster Abbey" autobiography

"Westminster Abbey Old Chorister" magazine Summer 1992 with memories of him.


5th August 1870


21st April 1962


Priest/Minister; writer


St Faith's Chapel

Memorial Type


Jocelyn Perkins
Reverend Jocelyn Perkins

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Jocelyn Perkins
Reverend Jocelyn Perkins memorial tablet

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster