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8th July 1936 – 2nd December 2013
On Thursday 8th May, 2014, at 11:30am a service of thanksgiving for the life of Brian Hitchen was held at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street.
The Venerable David Meara delivered the bidding:-
If we are looking for the legendary characters in the history of the Street of Adventure, they don't come much better than the man we celebrate today - Brian Hitchen, 'Hitch' as he was universally known. Steeped in the fiercely competitive world of Fleet Street, Hitch was an ebullient jovial and hard-drinking character who as news editor of the Daily Express and then editor of the Daily Star from 1987 to 1994 achieved notable scoops and raised the tone and influence of the paper during his tenure.
He could be fearsome to deal with but he supported his staff in adversity. His contacts book was the envy of Fleet Street. He loved the good things of life, he was essentially warm-hearted, patriotic, trenchant and mischievous. He loved journalism, journalists and all that Fleet Street represented. He loved too the holiday home where he and Nelli lived in Alicante in southern Spain, and where they both died after a road accident.
He would be delighted to see so many old friends and colleagues here today. Let us remember him with affection, celebrate his life in style, and commend him to the love and mercy of Almighty God.
Alexander Hitchen read John 14: 1-6
14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Nichola Mackay read Brian's tribute to Nelli
Robin Esser read Romans 8: 31-end
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The choir & organist of St Bride's performed the following anthems and songs:-
Nimrod from Enigma Variations - Edward Elgar
Psalm 121 - Henry Walford Davies
O Magnum Mysterium - Morten Lauridsen
Ubi Caritas - Maurice Duruflé
This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) - Natalie Cole arr. Robert Jones
Burning Bridges - Lala Schifrin arr. Matthew Morley
Praise, My Soul, The King Of Heaven
Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind
Land Of Hope And Glory
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