Dedication of the 1611 Bible

Appreciation by Sven Tester

A large crowd assembled in St Mary’s on 7 November for the dedication of the refurbished 1611 Bible. This event was hosted by St Mary’s, and the Battersea Society to whom we are most grateful.

Writing as a member of the choir, some of us were quite nervous before our performance of a brand new piece of music ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ composed for the occasion by Simon Bainbridge and featuring the amazing talents of Judi Spencer on the marimba with the choir.

The main memories of the evening  are of our first view of the Bible itself with its powerful angular print, of Professor David Crystal’s scintillating talk on the qualities, subtleties, dialects and even the statistics of the Bible’s language, and our pleasure in achieving a moving performance of Bainbridge’s demanding work, and enjoying its sound and Judi’s playing. We were able to relax positively in singing ‘I was Glad’ (the Coronation anthem) by Parry.

The Bishop of Southwark formally and simply dedicated the Bible. This now stands in its handsome display case in St Mary’s for all to see, a reminder of the dedication of those who worked on this first edition and of its inspiring influence ever since 1611.