THE BICENTENARY CELEBRATION IN THE CLOISTERS OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY, 24TH JUNE 1926

It is important that the deep impression made in such a place should be amongst the permanent possessions of the School. I will endeavour, therefore, to set down as clearly as I can the account of what took place in order to help to preserve the impression made, and I feel sure that the Dean of Westminster, Dr. Foxley Norris, who gave permission for the service to be held, will feel gratitude to him best expressed by keeping the occasion in remembrance. Our thanks are also due to the great kindness of Mr. Knapp­Fisher, Receiver-General of the Abbey, who himself super­intended all the arrangements.

The fine mural tablet placed in the wall of the cloister to the memory of Charles and Elizabeth Godolphin is near the door opening out of the south wall of the Abbey. For all who came on 24th June 1926 to pay their tribute of honour and gratitude to our Founder, and to offer to God a service of thanksgiving, the spot was marked by red and white peonies, which had been placed at the foot of the tablet. The north side of the cloister was assigned to the Old Girls and the many old members of the Staff, the west side to the present School, and the group of Governors stood opposite the tablet and formed the link between the long lines of past and present members of the School.

Field-Marshal the Lord Methuen, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., the Dean of Salisbury (Dr. Burn), the Hon. Lady Hulse, Miss Stephenson, C.B.E., and Lady Everett represented the Governors ; the Mayor and Mayoress (Mr. and Mrs. Brothers) represented the city of Salisbury. Among others present were Lady Methuen, Dame Millicent Fawcett, D.B.E., Mr. Harold Child, representing the Times, Mr. Knapp-Fisher, and Mr. Mould, clerk to the Governors of the School.

Many Old Girls arrived early and little groups of friends found their way into the cloisters until their side was filled with them, and with their eager greetings to one another.

A little later the other procession was seen entering by the door at the far end of the west cloister, and very impressive the School looked marching in their School colours in orderly ranks and holding their heads high ; the Head Mistress, Miss Ash, walked by the side, and the Staff at intervals behind her. The Head Girl, Betty Luckham, held the wreath, and another girl carried the School banner with the Godolphin arms. Following the Godolphin School came the Head Mistress, Miss Zachary, and the Sixth Form of the Godolphin and Latymer School, Hammersmith. Miss Douglas, Miss L. J. Douglas, Mrs. Whitehead, and Miss Awdry headed the procession of Old Girls and the past members of the Staff.

Just before the Deans of Westminster and Salisbury entered the cloisters a great silence fell upon the whole assembly as the Head Girl, representing the whole School, stepped forward and placed the great wreath of red and white flowers against the tablet and stood there for a moment with bowed head. The School banner was set against the wall, and then one of the Old Girls laid a branch of the Cape silver tree on the ledge of the tablet, having just brought it from South Africa with a card attached to it bearing the names of other far-distant Godolphins.

Directly the Dean of Westminster and the Dean of Salis­bury had taken up their places by the tablet, the Dean of Salisbury said the opening sentences, and then immediately the great chorus of girls’ voices broke into the thanksgiving hymn, Miss Harding conducting one side and Miss Coombs the other. The rest of the short service was intoned by the Dean of Salisbury, who also read the impressive words from Ecclus. XLIV. Then came the challenge from the great Apostle, sung as if by one voice by the whole company, and the short service ended with the Blessing, pronounced by the Dean of Westminster.

All present were then conducted by Mr. Knapp-Fisher into the Abbey and filled almost every seat. At Evensong the hymn, “For all the saints,” was sung to Vaughan Williams’s tune, and the Dean of Westminster read the familiar words of the Godolphin School Prayer from the Sanctuary before pronouncing the Blessing.

This record ends with the order of the service printed below, and no further word is needed.

THE BICENTENARY OF THE GODOLPHIN SCHOOL, JUNE 24, 1926.

The Bequest of Elizabeth Godolphin dates from June 24, 1726.

ORDER OF SERVICE

IN THE CLOISTERS OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
All will stand for this Service.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost

Amen.

  1. 0 Lord, open Thou our lips.
  2. And our mouth shall show forth Thy praise.

Hymn A. and M. 379.

Now thank we all our GOD,

O may this bounteous GOD

With heart, and hands, and voices,

Through all our life be near us,

Who wondrous things hath done,

With ever joyful hearts

In Whom His world rejoices;

And blessed peace to cheer us;

Who from our mother’s arms,

And keep us in His grace,

Hath bless’d us on our way

And guide us when perplex’d,

With countless gifts of love,

And free us from all ills

And still is ours to-day.

In this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to GOD

The FATHER now be given,

The SON, and HIM Who reigns

With Them in highest Heaven,

The ONE Eternal GOD,

Whom earth and Heav’n adore,

For thus it was, is now,

And shall be evermore.

Amen.

Reading: Ecclus. xliv.

Their bodies were buried in peace,

Their name liveth to all generations,

Their righteous deeds have not been forgotten,

With their seed shall remain continually a good inheritance;

Their seed shall remain for ever, And their glory shall not be blotted out.”

Franc ha leal eto ge.

O God, the giver of all good gifts, who didst put into the heart of Elizabeth, our Foundress, the will to care for Thy children, we yield to Thee hearty thanks for all the blessings that Thou hast bestowed upon us, as well by her as by all other Thy servants who in times past have laboured for the good of this School. Grant, we humbly beseech Thee, that we, beholding her good works, may by the truthfulness of our speech, by the loyalty of our work and the gladness of our lives, show forth our thankfulness for these Thy mercies, and by Thy grace leave a goodly heritage for those that shall come after; through Jesus Christ our Lord.        Amen.

Prayer for the Governors.

O Almighty God, bless with Thy wisdom and Thy love the Gover­nors of this School, and grant that they may direct all according to Thy Will and use all the gifts of bounty bestowed upon it to Thy honour and glory and the good of Thy children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for the Schools of England and of the Empire.

O Lord, we humbly and heartily beseech Thee to send Thy blessing upon the Godolphin School and upon all schools of religious and useful learning throughout the realm. Bless all those who serve in them, whether as teachers or scholars, and grant that they may set Thy holy Will ever before them, and do always such things as are well-pleasing in Thy sight, to the glory of Thy holy Name, for the edification of Thy holy Church, and the faithful service of our country; through Jesus Christ our Lord.            Amen.

 

Our Father, which art in Heaven . . . (to be said all together).

 

Hymn A. and M. 540.

FIGHT the good fight with all thy might,

CHRIST is thy Strength and CHRIST thy Right;

Lay hold on life, and it shall be

Thy joy and crown eternally.

Run the straight race through GOD’S good grace,

Lift up thine eyes, and seek His Face;

Life with its way before us lies,

CHRIST is the path, and CHRIST the prize.

Cast care aside, lean on thy Guide;

His boundless mercy will provide:

Trust, and thy trusting soul shall prove

CHRIST is its life. and CHRIST its love.

Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,

He changeth not, and thou art dear;

Only believe, and thou shalt see

That CHRIST is all in all to thee.

Amen.

 

The Blessing.

Prayer to be said in the Abbey at Evensong.

O Heavenly Father, we pray ‘I’hce for Thy blessing on the Godol­phin School. Let it ever he a place where the knowledge of Thee and of Thy truth may be taught, and where Thy Will may be learnt and obeyed ; and grant that all those who go forth from it may preserve the brightness of a blameless life, and may be faithful and diligent in service ; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hymn A. and M. 437.

Collect for All Saints.

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