New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
Gazette >

Marching for the King

BERWICK-UPON-TWEED is a town rightly conscious of its history. Thirteen times it changed hands between Scotland and England. Though English now, and in the Newcastle diocese, much about it is Scottish.

Its unusual church is famed for having no tower or spire: it was built in plain Cromwellian times shortly after the execution of the King. The Civil War features largely in Berwick's history, for it was captured by the Royalists in 1648.

The English Civil War Society recently attended a 17th-century service at the parish church conducted by the Vicar of Berwick, the Revd Alan Hughes ( centre). In return, they invited him to the King's Army Parade in London to mark the anniversary of the execution of Charles I in 1649.

Mr Hughes tells me that about 500 members of the English Civil War Society, with muskets, pikes, horses, baggage carts, and gun carriages, set off from St James's Palace along the Mall, marching to a muffled drumbeat, and following the route that Charles took to the scaffold outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall.

The society is the only civil body permitted to march through the streets with fully functioning weaponry, he says. They went to Trafalgar Square to lay a wreath at Charles's statue, and carried on to stop beneath the window of the Banqueting House through which the King stepped on to the scaffold. There Mr Hughes, wearing a black-and-silver 17th-century cope, read the service of commemoration from his original 1751 Book of Common Prayer.

Job of the week


London and Home Counties

WORCESTER COLLEGE CHAPLAIN Worcester College, Oxford Salary up to £25,327 per annum + benefits As Chaplain, you will join a large and diverse community of many faiths and none and you will m...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Singing through the tide of change

Singing through the tide of change

This month, the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland celebrates its 80th birthday. Gordon Giles looks back  Subscribe to read more

Top comment

Obstacles in the way of neighbourly welcome

Sarah Teather draws on the Bible for a forgotten insight into the blessing that can come from accepting refugees  Subscribe to read more

Fri 28 Oct 16 @ 16:03
Welsh Bishop’s nativity design minted for Christmas

Fri 28 Oct 16 @ 14:45
We speak to Bishop Treweek about her new campaign to build self-esteem in young people