It is saddening to note the General Election has overshadowed the recent Memorial Service to David Hopkinson at Chichester Cathedral.
It is hoped Chichester Observer will right this wrong by writing a special feature about him after the Election.
It is important to remember this man’s huge contribution, not just to this Cathedral City but also to this county and this country.
Richard W. Symonds
The Bell Society
Last week’s CHICHESTER OBSERVER was an interesting read, but I was disappointed that no mention was made of the Thanksgiving Service for David Hopkinson, which took the form of Choral Evensong last Tuesday at Chichester Cathedral.
David Hopkinson, CBE, was long, and closely connected with the Cathedral – more of this below. However, nationally he was a former Clerk to the House of Commons; served on the Bank of England Advisory Committee, and for nine years was a highly successful Managing Director of M & G Investment House.
Locally, he served as Chair of Pallant House Art Gallery, and was a Deputy Lord Lieutenant. The University of Chichester bestowed on him an honorary degree, in recognition of the contribution he made to life in Sussex.
Back to his years of devoted work for Chichester Cathedral, which benefited from his acquired financial skills. A founder member of Chichester Cathedral Restoration and Development Trust, providing substantial sums of money for the preservation of the Cathedral’s fabric, he also contributed, as a Church Commissioner, to the life of the national church.
Recent coverage in the national press have recalled David’s major role in the establishment of George Bell House. (Movingly, the first hymn in David’s Memorial Service, was ‘Christ is the King! O friends rejoice’, written by the former Bishop of Chichester himself.)
George Bell, as Episcopal Visitor to the Community of the Servants of the Cross, was in close contact with the remaining Anglican Sisters of the Community of the Servants of the Cross. They gave their blessing to David, as Chairman of the Community’s Trust, to use their finances to establish George Bell House as a Conference Centre. David was, as one who knew him, commented to us, ‘the moving spirit for all the negotiations’.
In my study, sits a brass plaque, which I had designed and made. It reads:
GEORGE BELL HOUSE
“No nation, no church, no individual is guiltless
Without repentance and without forgiveness
There can be no regeneration.”
Bishop George Bell 1883-1958
It is the earnest wish of the many of us, locally and globally, who have been fighting since 2016 for the restoration of Bishop Bell’s good name, as one of the greatest of Chichester’s Bishops, and a shining light in the ecumenical movement, to have this plaque affixed to the door of what has been temporarily named 4 Canon Lane.
The Bell Society