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150th Anniversary of Peabody Celebrated

Thursday, 29th March 2012

150th Anniversary of Peabody Celebrated

A service to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Peabody and the work of its founder, George Peabody, was held at Westminster Abbey on Thursday 28th March 2012 at 11.00am.

George Peabody (1795-1869) was an American financier and philanthropist who settled in London in 1837. He was acutely aware of poverty in the capital and established the Peabody Donation Fund ‘to ameliorate the condition of the poor and needy in this great metropolis’. Today the charitable organisation known simply as Peabody has more than 20,000 homes for 50,000 people in 25 London boroughs.

In his Bidding the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall said:

We come to give thanks to almighty God for 150 years of Peabody and for the work of its founder, George Peabody. We shall remember his achievements and pray for the continuing task of providing decent housing and community care for the people of London and our cities.

The Address was given by the Right Reverend Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark (1998-2010).

Jordan Lyons, a Peabody resident, laid a wreath at the Peabody memorial in the nave of the Abbey.

Stephen Howlett, Chief Executive of Peabody, read from The Letters of George Peabody; Christopher Strickland, Chair of Peabody, read Ecclesiasticus 4: 1-10; and Alex Phillips, a Peabody resident, read St Luke 6: 27-36, 46-49.

Testimonies were read by June Welcome and Adetomiwa Edun.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Michael Macey, Minor Canon and Precentor.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir conducted by Robert Quinney, Sub-Organist. The organ was played during the service by Martin Ford, Assistant Organist and before the service by Andrej Kouznetsov, Organ Scholar.

The Order of Service contained letters of support from the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP; the American Ambassador HE Louis B. Susman; and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

See also:

The Order of Service (PDF 177 KB)

The Address given by The Rt Revd Tom Butler

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Martin - The Dean’s Verger

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