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Evensong & Wreathlaying at the grave of Charles Darwin

Thursday, 12th February 2009

Evensong & Wreathlaying at the grave of Charles Darwin

Westminster Abbey honoured the memory of Charles Darwin, the naturalist and father of the theory of evolution, with a short service and a floral tribute on the 200th anniversary of his birth.

The ceremony marked the start of a year of Darwin celebrations at the Abbey.

Darwin was born on 12th February 1809 and was buried in the Abbey when he died in 1882.

At a ceremony after Evensong on Thursday 12th February the Abbeys Canon Theologian, the Reverend Nicholas Sagovsky read from Darwin's writings. He also led prayers and a minutes silence in his memory.

Flowers and foliage from the garden Downe House near Orpington in Kent which was Darwins home for 40 years were laid by Cat Clarke now a conservator at the Abbey but who for previously looked after Downe House and Darwin's study.

The plants Helleborus and Berberis darwinii - discovered in South America in 1835 by Darwin during the voyage of the 'Beagle' form part of the arrangement.

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I’ve worked here for over thirty years and have seen many of the major services - it’s strange to realise that you are in a small way part of history.

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Pamela - Rector's Secretary

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