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Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Abbey remains open for worship and you are welcome to join us at our daily Eucharist service if you are able to travel here safely within current government guidelines.

However, for the time being we are unable to open the Abbey and St Margaret’s Church for general visiting.

A podcast for the 75th anniversary of VE Day

Friday, 8th May 2020

Barbara Weatherill

A special podcast for VE Day with contributions from the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter GCB, CBE, DSO, and VE Day veteran, Barbara Weatherill, 95 has been released today by the Abbey to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Her Majesty The Queen and other members of the Royal Family were due to be welcomed to the Abbey today for a special televised service to commemorate VE Day alongside veterans and their families, representatives of Allied nations and Commonwealth countries, and government and military representatives.

As the service is unable to go ahead, the Abbey has produced a podcast featuring readings, prayers and music for all those who would like to join in with VE Day commemorations.

General Sir Nicholas Carter will read Psalm 46. Barbara Weatherill, 95, from Derbyshire who was a driver mechanic during the Second World War, has provided a reflection for the podcast of her memories of the day, recorded from her home landline.

In the Address the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle says:

As crowds celebrated the end of the war, on the streets of Westminster, Winston Churchill gave an impromptu speech from a balcony in Whitehall.  He explained that this victory was a joint effort: This is not victory of a party or of any class. It's a victory of the great British nation as a whole. We celebrate VE day, when a shared hope was realised.  It is a celebration we must sustain and a hope we should still share.  We are not made for isolation and we are less isolated than we think.

The Westminster Abbey Choir, conducted by Master and Organist of the Choristers, James O’Donnell, perform Vaughan Williams ‘Lord, thou hast been our refuge’ and Herbert Howells ‘All my hope on God is founded’. Music was supplied by Hyperion Records.

Listen to the podcast

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At different times of the day, or in different seasons, the light falling in the Abbey will light up something that you have walked past a million times and never seen before.

Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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