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St Matthews Church Oxhey Hertfordshire

Fr David's Sermon

12th October 2008

Fr David Shepherd

Trinity 21

In the porch of St. Martinís Church Dorking is a bronze memorial showing a brooding relief of Ralph Vaughan Williams. I used to pass it every time I went to Church as a teenager. As a bell ringer I would come down the belfry steps and go past it as I went into Church.

I was aware of Ralph Vaughan Williams as a child because my auntie sang in one of the local choirs that took part in the Leith Hill Music which RVW conducted for many years. He lived in Dorking for a part of his life Ė in exile from his beloved London Ė because his first wife Adeline was an invalid. His memory continued to live on in the town when I was growing up & still does today.

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of his death & we are encouraged to give thanks for his contribution to English Church Music. RVW was the musical editor of the English Hymnal back in 1906 - hence our use of the English Hymnal today. All our hymn tunes today are associated with him as a composer and arranger.

We can pick out several aspects of RVWís life that both inform & reflect Christian faith.

We will wish to respond with an unresolved amen to a significant life that ended 50 years ago today.

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Comments about this site or problems? Contact Webmaster (Colin Richards) at Last updated 09/10/2008 14:30 Author: David Shepherd