St Bride's: News

"WITNESS"

heli.jpgThe specially commissioned short film "Witness", directed by Tim Meara, the rector's son, with music composed by Benjamin Wallfisch, was a central feature of a service to commemorate all those who covered the war in Iraq and to remember those who died. Claire Seaton, singing Clytemnestra's lament for the fallen from Aeschylus's "Agamemnon", accompanied reflections by journalists intercut with footage from the war. The film was projected on to screens above the altar and in the aisles.

A memorial inscription on the wall by the journalists' altar bearing the names of 18 journalists, cameramen and assistants was unveiled by Sir Trevor McDonald. The war was proportionately more deadly for journalists than for the coalition forces, and the church was packed with families and colleagues of those who died or are still missing.

hands.jpgThe service was conducted by the Rector and the readings were by Anthony Loyd, Times war correspondent ("For everything there is a season"), Lord Rothermere (a report from Baghdad by Ross Benson of the Daily Mail) and Sir Christopher Hogg ("Let us now praise famous men"). John Simpson, BBC foreign correspondent, paid tribute to his colleagues and called for further inquiries into fatal incidents of "friendly fire".

At the beginning of the service candles were lit in memory of the dead and the bidding prayer reminded the congregation that this was an opportunity to remember them and "to acknowledge the courage and commitment of those who day by day bring us the news and who sometimes pay the ultimate price".

Christopher McKane
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