Service of Thanksgiving for the Life and Work of Paul Scofield CH CBE
Thursday, 19th March 2009
Paul Scofield (21st January 1922 – 19th March 2008) often described as the “greatest actor in the English speaking world” was remembered at a Thanksgiving Service at St Margaret’s Church on Thursday 19th March at 12 noon.
Fellow actors, family and friends gathered to honour the actor who had a prestigious stage and screen career, receiving particular acclaim for his performance as Sir Thomas More in the 1966 film A Man For All Seasons.
Those attending the service included Joy Parker, Paul Scofield’s wife, and son, Martin Scofield; Lady Sarah Chatto, Daniel Chatto, Tom Stoppard, Sir Ian McKellen, Alan Bennett, Timothy West, Prunella Scales, John Hurt, Zoe Wanamaker, Michael Gambon, Patricia Routledge, Anthony Andrews, Joss Ackland, Anthony Sher and Michael Sheen.
The Revd Robert Wright, Sub-Dean of Westminster and Rector of St Margaret’s Church said:
Paul Scofield was undoubtedly one of the greatest actors of all time. We are gathered here today to celebrate Paul’s remarkable gift for revealing the depth of the characters he portrayed, and to give thanks for a man who could truly say, ‘I am able to say honestly and I hope without self-satisfaction, that I am happy with my lot.'
Martin Scofield: Act II Scene 5, The Third Part of Henry the Sixth, William Shakespeare
Dame Eileen Atkins: Little Gidding, T.S. Eliot
Seamus Heaney: Beowulf, anonymous, translated by Seamus Heaney
Joy Parker: Afterwards, Thomas Hardy
Sir Ian McKellen: John 1: 1-14
Simon Callow giving the Address paid tribute to Paul Scofield’s career saying it was “a body of work of such depth” and that it “made the audience forget the art of acting”.
Prayers were led by The Revd Michael Macey, Minor Canon of Westminster. The service was sung by the Choir of St Margaret’s Church, conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers, Westminster Abbey. The organ was played by Richard Pearce.
Order of Service (PDF, 183 KB)
The Address (PDF, 39 KB)