The Arts Society celebrates 50th anniversary

Wednesday, 16th May 2018

The Arts Society celebrates 50th anniversary

HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, Patron, attended a service of celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of The Arts Society at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 16th May 2018.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding:

We come to Westminster Abbey today to celebrate the arts; to rejoice in all that contributes beauty to people’s lives and helps us stretch our imaginations and yearnings and reach beyond ourselves. We come as representatives of a network of societies that has grown over the past fifty years from small beginnings and to give thanks for its development from the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies into The Arts Society.
We come above all to worship God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Creator, Redeemer, and Inspirer; to celebrate God’s gifts of love, beauty, and goodness, and to be encouraged in our own vocation to honour God’s gifts and to enliven our families, our friends, and our communities that all may rejoice in the beauty of the arts.

The Address was given by the Right Reverend Christopher Herbert, former Bishop of St Albans and an accredited Arts Society lecturer.

Shelagh Townsend-Rose, Member of Borders Decorative and Fine Arts Society and Volunteer, read Genesis 1: 24-end; June Robinson BEM, Member of The Arts Society Leatherhead and Chairman of Trustees, read Colossians 1:9b-20.

Dr Loyd Grossman CBE FSA, President, The Arts Society, read a Testimony. Cerys Matthews MBE gave a reading adapted from Nahum Tate, and Simon Callow read from Dante's Divine Comedy.

Kansas Smitty’s House Band performed Christus audi nos.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Mark Birch, Minor Canon and Sacrist, and said by: Alison Galvin-Wright, The Arts Society Kennet and Swindon and Trustee; Rachel Fay, daughter of Founder Patricia Fay and Member of The Arts Society Chiltern; William Dawson, The Arts Society Costa del Sol and Trustee; Pauline Stewart, The Arts Society South Devon and Volunteer; and the Venerable David Stanton, Canon in Residence.

The Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir, conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers, sang an anthem by Matthew Sheeran, commissioned for the service by The Arts Society.

The organ was played by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist, and before the service by Benjamin Cunningham, Organ Scholar.

More information

Order of Service for A service of celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of The Arts Society (PDF, 866KB)