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On Tuesday 8th May, 2012, at 11:30am a service of thanksgiving for the life of James Whitaker, royal reporter, was held at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street.
The Venerable David Meara delivered the Bidding:
We are here to celebrate the life of James Whitaker, doyen of Fleet Street's Royal correspondents, and to remember his 40 year career in tabloid journalism, beginning on the Daily Express, and after spells at the Sun and the Daily Star, most notably on the Daily Mirror.
The three pictures in our orders of service sum up James' passion very well - the binoculars at the racecourse, the champagne flute raised in greeting, the sportsman on the ski slopes. James loved the pleasures of life and he enjoyed and embraced them to the full.
We remember him as a consummate professional, a wonderful friend and a genial host, a lover of life and a good story.
As we celebrate his life today so we commend him to Almighty God, confident that at the end of our brief day is the eternity of God's love.
Ken Wharfe read 1 Corinthians 13
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. Andthough I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Richard Wallace read Good Food... Fine Whine by James Whitaker
Kent Gavin read The Boys of the Byline Brigade by Geoffrey Lakeman
The choir & organist of St Bride's Choir performed the following anthems and songs:
You've Got A Friend - Carole King, performed by Frank McKay & Iain McKay
God Be In My Head - Walford Davies
Song For Athene - John Tavener
Lacrimosa from Requiem - Mozart
Bohemian Rhapsody - Freddie Mercury
Wild Horses - Mick Jagger / Keith Richards
Waltz in C# Minor & Scherzo in B flat Minor - Frédéric Chopin
He Who Would Valiant Be
The Lord's My Shepherd
Guardian by Roy Greenslade
The Independent by Michael Leapman
The Daily Mail by Kerry Mcqueeney