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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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Flag days

The two magnificent west towers, above the Great West Door, were the last major construction work to be carried out on the Abbey, constructed from Portland stone between 1722 and 1745 to a design by Nicholas Hawksmoor.

On top of the north tower sits a flag pole on which the Abbey flies flags - of the Commonwealth Nations, the Flag of St Peter, the Abbey Flag, the Union Flag, the Flags of the National Saints, the Royal Air Force Flag, and the Royal Standard.

The West Towers of Westminster Abbey with the Abbey flag flying

 The Flag of St Peter

Flag of St Peter

Red with a pair of Golden Cross Keys, together with the Ring of St Edward the Confessor. This flag combines the symbols of the two Patron Saints of the Abbey: the ring of St Edward the Confessor, king of England 1043–1066 and founder of the Abbey in 1065; and the keys of St Peter, keeper of the keys to the kingdom of heaven, after whom the Abbey was named when it was re-founded as a Collegiate Church in 1579. It is flown on most Church Festivals, such as the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Christmas Day.


The Abbey Flag

Abbey flag

This bears the coat of arms of Westminster Abbey, and is flown during a State Visit on the day when the Head of State visits the Grave of The Unknown Warrior.


Other Flags

The Union Flag is flown on Remembrance Sunday.

The Flags of the National Saints; George, Andrew, and Patrick, are flown on their respective days, and the Welsh Dragon Flag is flown on St David's Day.

The Royal Air Force Flag is flown on the Commemoration of the Battle of Britain.

The Royal Standard is flown whenever the Sovereign is within the Abbey or its Precincts. It is also flown whenever the Sovereign opens Parliament, a privilege granted by King Edward VII.

A National Flag is flown on the day when the High Commission of a Commonwealth member state is represented at Evensong.


Flag day calendar

June

Saturday, 6th June 2020
Eve of Trinity
St Peter flag

Sunday, 7th June 2020
Trinity Sunday
St Peter flag

Thursday, 11th June 2020
Corpus Christi
St Peter flag

Thursday, 11th June 2020
St Barnabas
St Peter flag

Thursday, 25th June 2020
The Birth of St John The Baptist
St Peter flag

Sunday, 28th June 2020
Eve of St Peter
St Peter flag

Monday, 29th June 2020
St Peter
St Peter flag

July

Friday, 3rd July 2020
St Thomas
St Peter flag

Saturday, 11th July 2020
St Benedict
St Peter flag

Monday, 20th July 2020
St Margaret
St Peter flag

Thursday, 23rd July 2020
St Mary Magdalene
St Peter flag

Saturday, 25th July 2020
St James
St Peter flag

August

Thursday, 6th August 2020
The Transfiguration of Our Lord
St Peter flag

Friday, 14th August 2020
Eve of The Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St Peter flag

Saturday, 15th August 2020
The Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St Peter flag

Monday, 24th August 2020
St Bartholomew
St Peter flag

September

Tuesday, 8th September 2020
Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St Peter flag

Monday, 14th September 2020
Holy Cross Day
St Peter flag

Wednesday, 16th September 2020
Battle of Britain Sunday
RAF Ensign

Monday, 21st September 2020
St Matthew
St Peter flag

Monday, 28th September 2020
Eve of St Michael and All Angels
St Peter flag

Tuesday, 29th September 2020
St Michael and All Angels
St Peter flag

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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