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Abbey marks 175th Anniversary of the University of Westminster

Thursday, 30th January 2014

Abbey marks 175th Anniversary of the University of Westminster

A Service to Celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the University of Westminster was held at Westminster Abbey on Thursday 30th January 2014.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding:

We gather to give thanks to God for the distinguished history of an institution established here in Westminster as the first Polytechnic 175 years ago which now proudly bears the title of the University of Westminster.
We do so in this holy church, where God has been worshipped every day for a thousand years, the place of coronation and of royal, national and international celebration, rooted in the Christian and Anglican tradition, that represents faith at the heart of the nation and welcomes the rich diversity of religious belief.
We shall remember the purposes for which the Polytechnic was founded, reflect on the character of the University today, and look forward to its future service of this city and nation and world. We shall celebrate the skill and resource of the academic community, and its mission to include and enable gifted students to realise their full potential.

The Regent Street Polytechnic, forerunner of the University, was founded by the philanthropist Quintin Hogg. During the service his Bible was processed through the Nave accompanied by University students Maryana Semenyuk, Shery Ibraheim and Gemma Smith and placed on the High Altar.

The Right Honourable The Viscount Hailsham QC, great-grandson of Quintin Hogg, read An Historical Reflection.

Testimonies were read by Muyiwa Olarewaju, alumnus and Station Director, Premier Gospel; Adnan Khan, President of the Christian Union; and Ben Sandhu, student.

Professor Geoffrey Petts, Vice-Chancellor, read 1 Corinthians 12: 12-26.

The Address was given by The Baroness Cox.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Dr James Hawkey, Minor Canon and Precentor of Westminster, and said on behalf of the University by Michele Lee, Chaplain; Jane Cockerell, Faith Adviser; Ekta Ryani, student; Geoffrey Davies; Ahma Allo, President ISoc; and Harjot Guron, student.

Peter Kyle, Chairman, Court of Governors read A Restatement of the Mission of the University of Westminster.

The service was sung by the Polyphonics, the University of Westminster Students’ Union Choral Society, the University of Westminster Centre for Commercial Music, Ibstock Place School, Broomfield House School, and associated colleges, conducted by Robert Jacobs.

The organ was played during the service by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist of Westminster Abbey, and before by Martin Ford, Assistant Organist, and Alexander Oliver, Organ Scholar, Westminster University.

Westminster Brass, conducted by David McQueen, also played during the service.

See also:

Order of Service (PDF, 1.4MB)

There really isn’t a more spectacular building to work on. It’s been one of the most gratifying and rewarding experiences of my life.


Kevin - Galleries Project Manager

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