Westminster Abbey Celebrates the Life of Ronnie Corbett

Wednesday, 7th June 2017

Westminster Abbey Celebrates the Life of Ronnie Corbett

A Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the life and work of Ronnie Corbett CBE was held at Westminster Abbey at Noon on Wednesday 7th June.

The service was attended by Dame Penelope Keith DBE DL, representing HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall; and by Sarah, Duchess of York, representing HRH The Duke of York.

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

'We are here to celebrate the life of Ronnie Corbett, to give thanks to God for his goodness and generosity, for his love of his family and friends and for the comic genius that gave immeasurable joy to countless people.

During its long history Westminster Abbey has witnessed many occasions of celebration and thanksgiving and many of sadness and loss. Here we bring before God joys and sorrows, triumphs and tragedies. Our emotions are often mingled: we remember what we have lost as we give thanks for what we have loved.

As we commend Ronnie to the loving care of almighty God and as we pray for Anne, Sophie and Emma, his family and friends, let us recall with joy his gifts: the brilliant comic timing, the twinkle in the eye, the richness of his voice.

So, it’s good day from me and it’s good day from him...

The Address was given by James Moir CBE LVO KSG.

Tributes were read by Jimmy Tarbuck OBE and Rob Brydon MBE.

Simon Parker Bowles, friend, read Isaiah 12: 2-end, and Joanna Lumley OBE read 1 Corinthians 13.

Fflur Wyn, soprano, sang I Know that my Redeemer Liveth, from Handel’s Messiah. Ruthie Henshall sang I’ll be Seeing You by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Precentor, and said by: Emma Corbett, daughter; Sophie Corbett Grahame, daughter; Tom Corbett, grandson; Simon Parker Bowles; and the Reverend David Stanton, Canon in Residence.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir, conducted by Organist and Master of the Choristers, James O'Donnell. The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist, and before the service by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist.

The BBC Concert Orchestra played before and after the service, directed by Richard Balcombe.

Order of Service for A Service of Thanksgiving for the Life and Work of Ronnie Corbett CBE (PDF,  619KB)