Abbey plans Memorial Evensong for Archbishop Tutu

Friday, 31st December 2021

Abbey plans Memorial Evensong for Archbishop Tutu

Westminster Abbey is to hold a Memorial Evensong for Archbishop Desmond Tutu who died on 26th December.

Desmond Mpilo Tutu was a South African Anglican bishop and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996 - the first black African to hold either position.

Archbishop Tutu visited the Abbey in 2014 to preach at a service of thanksgiving for the life of his great friend President Nelson Mandela.

The date of the Memorial Evensong will be announced at a later date.


The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle said: 

'Writing for the BBC, after Desmond Tutu’s death, Andrew Harding recalled "the clarity of his moral fury". His was a rare voice and a rare ministry, passionate yet measured, powerful and informed.
Desmond Tutu knew the deep seriousness of the choices we make. He was also though, a man equally possessed of a deep faith and infectious joy in believing. There is a wonderful photograph of him dancing outside the Abbey while a slightly bemused Dean looks on. It will be our privilege to remember, our brother Desmond, our Father in God, the Witness for Christ.'


The Memorial Evensong will be held in partnership with the Tutu Foundation. Clive Conway, Chair of the Tutu Foundation UK, said:

'We are hugely grateful for the messages of condolence and support we continue to receive and pass on to his family and we look forward to welcoming friends and supporters of Desmond’s extraordinary legacy to a special service of thanks later this year.'