St Bride's: News

Guildsman Edward Bevin discovers a new link with St Bride's church

edward_bevin.jpgGuildsman Edward Bevin, who became a member in 1971 and has twice served on the Court, has recently discovered a new link between himself and St Bride's Church.

He has been appointed Head of Press and Public relations for the Friends of Cathedral Music (FCM) a national organisation whose chief purpose is to safeguard the priceless heritage of cathedral music and encourage high standards in choral singing. This unique body has given more than £2 million to cathedrals in the UK as well as Anglican cathedrals overseas.

It was founded one Saturday afternoon in 1956 when a group of 40 clergy and other enthusiasts of cathedral music-making, packed into the vestry of St Bride's Church to express their concerns about the post-war state of music in cathedrals. The date was June 2 and as a result of the meeting, headed by the late Rev'd Ronald Sibthorp (1911-1990), FCM was created and from the original membership of those 40-odd attending, there are now more than 4,000 on the membership list - and the figure is rising.

FCM is chaired by Professor Peter Toyne, one-time chorister at Ripon Cathedral, whose brilliant career has included other chairmanships, among them the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the city's successful bid to be named the European Capital of Culture in 2008. He was founding Vice Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University and he is passionately fond of music and cathedral music in particular.

FCM will shortly be discussing plans for its Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2016 and it is hoped that St Bride's will be one of the focal points of activities throughout that year.

Edward also regards himself as an aficionado of cathedral and church music and is press and public relations adviser to St Albans Cathedral. He spent much of his full working life in journalism. Within ten years of becoming a trainee journalist, he was appointed Editor of a west Midlands weekly newspaper and later Associate Editor of its evening newspaper. At the time, he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country. His London office was in Fleet Street.

After nearly 20 years in newspapers he switched to public relations, joining a local authority in south Wales as its first-ever Public Relations and Amenities Officer. Eighteen months later he moved to the London Borough of Barnet, where he was Press and Information Officer. During this time, he and Pamela were married in St Bride's Church, Fleet Street. After five years he was appointed Head of Press and Public Relations for the London-based Association of County Councils (ACC), which is now the Local Government Association.

During his 17 years in this position - the most senior within the country's local government set-up - he was also appointed Chief Public Relations Adviser to the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA), based in The Netherlands and at the same time held a similar position for the Paris-based Council of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CEMR).

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