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Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Abbey is not currently open for public worship, general visiting or private prayer. Meanwhile, the community of Abbey clergy are continuing to worship and pray, in-line with government guidance. They are also producing a podcast to mark key liturgical events.

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A podcast for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Sunday, 3rd May 2020

A podcast for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

A podcast for the Fourth Sunday of Easter is published today as part of the Abbey’s continued commitment to provide virtual worship for all.

This latest episode, in National Gardening Week, features a gospel full of rural imagery: sheep, gates and pastures, read by Alan Titchmarsh, gardener and broadcaster. The podcast was recorded at the Cloister Entrance, the gate leading to the Abbey’s cloisters, with Alan Titchmarsh’s reading recorded remotely.

Introduced by the Reverend Canon Dr James Hawkey, Canon Theologian, it is fifteen minutes long with a reading, short address, anthem, prayers and blessing.

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

One of the people who taught me theology was Nicholas Lash. He wrote a book about the Trinity and gave the last chapter the title ‘Gardening’. He wrote about God’s garden made ‘in the beginning’ and reminded us that the Garden of Eden ‘does not lie behind us, but ahead of us, in hope, and, in the meantime, all around us as our place of work’. In our latest podcast you will hear us trying to find the words we need to do that work. It is, if you like, a kind of gardening.

The Dean of Westminster gives the address, and Alan Titchmarsh reads John 10: 1-10. The anthem, O God Thou Art My God, composed by Henry Purcell, sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey conducted by James O’Donnell, was kindly supplied for the podcast by Hyperion Records.

Social distancing following government guidelines was observed by everyone who took part. It was edited and posted remotely by Abbey staff working from home.


Listen to the podcast

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You are surrounded by history at the Abbey, not like a museum where it’s just displayed, but here you are standing where history has happened.

Gerlinde - Abbey Marshal

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