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Prelates back care of Tower crypt

01 November 2013

MAZUR/ CAThOLICNEWS.org.uk

In step: the Bishop of London (far left) and the Archbishop of Westminster (centre) at the Tower of London  

In step: the Bishop of London (far left) and the Archbishop of Westminster (centre) at the Tower of L...

TWO leaders of the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches in England prayed together last week in the Tower of London crypt where Henry VIII's friend and chancellor, Sir Thomas More, spent his last night before his execution for refusing to accept the King's split from Rome.

The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, and the Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Revd Vincent Nichols, were joined by the Constable of the Tower, General the Lord Dannatt, to promote the 1535 Society, which fosters an understanding of More's part in history, and honours all those who have lost their lives because of their religious beliefs.

The society was launched last year by Lord Dannatt, a former Chief of the General Staff. It seeks to raise £1.5 million for the restoration of the crypt beneath the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula in the Tower. The chapel contains More's grave, and is the final resting place of three English queens.

In a joint statement, the two prelates said: "It is so important that we preserve this shrine to remind us of the dangers of religious intolerance, and to recall men and women of faith to the primacy of love for God which leads to love of neighbour."

Lord Dannatt said that he was grateful to the Archbishop and Bishop of London for "joining together in honouring a saint of both main Christian traditions, and other Christian martyrs, and in helping us give the chapel and the crypt the care that they deserve".

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