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Nelson Mandela honoured with memorial stone on the centenary of his birth

Wednesday, 18th July 2018

Nelson Mandela honoured with memorial stone on the centenary of his birth

A memorial stone to Nelson Mandela was dedicated in the nave of Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 18th July 2018, on the centenary of the birth of the former President of the Republic of South Africa.

Her Excellency Nomatemba Tambo, High Commissioner for South Africa and Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela, granddaughter of Nelson Mandela attended the service.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall.

The Address was given by HE Nomatemba Tambo.

Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela read from A letter to Winnie Mandela, 1st February 1975.

The Mzansi String Quartet played Thula Thula and iBuyile iAfrika.

The Reverend Professor Vernon White, Canon in Residence read Colossians 1: 15-20.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Mark Birch, Minor Canon and Sacrist, and said by: the Reverend Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to HM The Queen, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, and Priest Vicar of Westminster Abbey and the Reverend Jane Sinclair, Rector of St Margaret's and Canon of Westminster.

The ledger stone, of black Belgian marble, measuring  610 mm x 610 mm, was designed and cut by Nicholas Sloan. The inscription reads: 'Nelson Mandela 1918-2013' encircled with 'Forgiveness' and 'Reconciliation'.

The National Anthem of the Republic of South Africa was sung.

The service was sung by an octet of singers from the Westminster Abbey Special Services Choir conducted by Peter Holder, Sub-Organist. The Ubunye Choir was directed by Nic Vani. The organ was played by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist and Benjamin Cunningham, Organ Scholar.

Nelson Mandela is the first South African to receive a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey. Other South Africans honoured at the Abbey include Manche Masemola, a 20th century martyr, whose statue, which stands over the west entrance of the Abbey, was unveiled in 1998, and Joost de Blank, 1908-1968, Bishop of Stepney, Archbishop of Cape Town, Canon of Westminster and human rights campaigner, who is buried outside St. George's Chapel. 

A Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Nelson Mandela was held at the Abbey on 3rd March 2014.


Order of Service for The Dedication of a Memorial Stone to Nelson Mandela (PDF, 477KB)

I feel very privileged to work here. I take so much pride in working for a beautiful place like the Abbey, it’s unique.

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Alex - Abbey Marshal

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