Monthly Archives: September 2016

  1. Designing a Christmas Card

    Every year we create a new range of exclusive Westminster Abbey Christmas cards for our customers to enjoy. This year we have created card designs using images and paintings from inside the Abbey, as well as commissioning an artist to create a wonderful illustration based around a Westminster Abbey Christmas scene. 

    The artist responsible for our new Christmas card design is Camilla Charnock, a freelance artist, illustrator and design based in London. She works traditionally on paper using a tiny brush with watercolours, as opposed to working digitally.  We chose her as our artist this year after seeing some Christmas cards she had designed previously. We liked her elegant style, colour palette and design format, placing the image into a circle on a square card.

    After selecting the artist, we then thought about the Christmas scene we wanted her to paint for...

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  2. CD of the Month: The Feast of St Michael

    Our CD of the month for September is The Feast of St Michael and All Angels at Westminster Abbey, to coincide with the celebration of Michaelmas on the 29th September. The wonderful music on this CD was recorded inside the Abbey in 2007 featuring the Westminster Abbey Choir, with James O’Donnell conducting and Robert Quinney playing the organ. 

    Michaelmas Day celebrates St Michael the Archangel who is the patron saint of sea and maritime lands, ships, boatmen and horses and horsemen. He is also known as the angel that hurled Luther down from heaven to defeat him in the war in heaven. Michaelmas Day celebrates this heroic defeat over Satan and St Michael’s role as an...

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  3. Battle of Britain

    This Sunday a service of thanksgiving and rededication in honour of the Battle of Britain will take place at Westminster Abbey. This service is held annually at the Abbey to remember those who lost their lives in the Battle of Britain and is an occasion to mark the nation’s gratitude for the incredible sacrifice of those who took part. This takes place in the RAF Chapel which sits within Henry VII’s Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey. 

    The Battle of Britain was the great air battle of World War Two, fought between the RAF and the German Luftwaffe. It lasted from 10th July until 31st October 1940 and was an aerial assault from Germany to try and force the British to surrender or at least sign an armistice. The RAF was victorious in this battle despite having fewer aircraft than the German forces. Nearly 3,000 men from the RAF took part;...

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  4. Book of the Month: How to Read Churches

    Our book of the month for September is the helpful guide, How to Read Churches: A crash course in Christian architecture by Denis McNamara. This book accompanies our architecture-themed range which celebrates the wonderful details that make a magnificent building like the Abbey. 

    How to Read Churches



    How to Read Churches is the perfect guide for anyone with an interest in architecture or even those who have found themselves spellbound by the wonderful treasures found in church...

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  5. Elizabeth I and Westminster Abbey

    On 7th September it will be the anniversary of the birth of Elizabeth I in 1533. Elizabeth I had many connections to Westminster Abbey; not only did key moments in her life take place here but she also greatly influenced the Abbey’s history in a way that we can still see today. 

    The Tudor period was marred by its religious tensions and the back and forth between Protestantism and Catholicism, dependent on the preferences of the monarch at the time.  Elizabeth was thought of as having a stabilising effect on these religious problems as she attempted to chart a course of compromise to appease both sides. However, when she initially came to the throne following the death of her half sister Mary I, she was thought of as a Protestant saviour only.  Mary’s reign had been filled with violent suppressions of heretical Protestants and this had...

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