Akela goes to Westminster Abbey

4 November 2011

On the 5th November there was a special Saturday morning service of thanksgiving for Scouting and Guiding, focused on giving thanks to and recognising the service of adult volunteers.

Graham Wymark, our esteemed Cubs Leader (Akela), was invited in recognition of his Service (over 30 years!).

Our congratulations to Graham and sincere thanks for his long standing commitment to 1st Roffey Scout Group.

Below are Graham’s notes from the event:

Westminster Abbey“Following the invite from the Scout Association, on Saturday 5th November I attended a service of Thanksgiving for long serving Scouters and Guiders at Westminster Abbey, taking my son Gareth, also a Cub Scout Leader as my guest.

The numbers attending surprised me, there being as many there as were at William and Kate’s wedding.  In fact one of the Abbey stewards commented that there would be a full house.  It shows that throughout the country there are many Scouters and Guiders with over 30 year’s service.

We were in our seats in the south nave by 11.15 giving us time to reflect of the splendor of the Abbey and express our amazement at how it was constructed all those years ago without the modern day equipment.

Promptly at 12.00 the procession of clergy and flags come down the main aisle of the Abbey the service, conducted by The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster,   commenced.  Without going into too much detail there were traditional hymns,   Praise the Lord, the Almighty, Praise my Soul the King of Heaven and Now Thank We All Our God plus the more modern Make Me a Channel of Your Peace, two reading and four interviews with current Scouts, guides and Young Leaders expressing their thanks for the help leaders had given them over their years in Scouting and Guiding.  The address was by The Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons!

The service concluded with the national anthem and it was pleasing to see no one referring to the order of service all the leaders knowing the words.

The service concluded just before 1.00, so we made our way out of the Abbey past the prepared area for Remembrance poppies, areas being laid out for the various regiments/Corps/Countries so that crosses in remembrance could be laid in the appropriate areas.”