St Bride's Annual Journalists' Service - In the Eye of the Storm

St Bride's: News

In the Eye of the Storm

In the Eye of the Storm

Feisal Omar, a Reuters photographer, courtesy of VOA

Download Order of Service (pdf)

On Tuesday 21st November, 2017, at 6:30pm a service was held at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street in the presence of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to commemorate all those in the media industry whose mission to bring us the news faces peril and uncertainty and sometimes, tragically, demands the ultimate price.

Review of Service by Joe Bray, Guild Journalism Bursary Scholar 2017


As consumers of news in a fast-changing world, we demand a great deal of our journalists and foreign correspondents.

We expect them to keep us informed about difficult and complex situations in the trouble spots of the world, often at great personal risk, and sometimes, tragically, they pay the ultimate price.

So it is important that, as representatives of the media industry and the public life of this nation, we honour their memory in this service and remind ourselves of the sacrifice they make in order to bring us the truth.


The Revd Canon Dr Alison Joyce, Rector of St Bride's:-

Read text...

A very warm welcome to St Bride's.

On Monday 16th October I was in Malta attending a conference. It was the day on which the Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered in a car bomb explosion. That evening I spent time with a woman who knew her, who said this: 'Daphne was fearless. Even though she received repeated death threats, she continued to expose corruption and call the powerful to account.'

Daphne Caruana Galizia was unafraid of being in the eye of the storm. Indeed, she was unafraid of generating the storm itself. At our service this evening we honour the memory, and commemorate the lives of journalists who, like her, remind us of why journalism matters. We remember those who have lost their lives as a consequence of their work; those whose lives have been cut short by illness or accident; as well as those who have died full of years. We honour writers, reporters, photographers, camera-crew, and their support staff. And we also hold in our prayers those who are currently held captive; and all whose professional work puts them in situations of personal danger, as we honour all that is best in the profession.

Almighty Father,
in whose perfect realm
no sword is drawn but the sword of justice,
and no strength known but the strength of love:
guide and protect all who seek to bear witness
to the truth of your troubled world;
all who seek to give a voice to the voiceless,
and to tell stories that would otherwise remain untold.
We remember especially this day all members of this profession
who have died, or whose fate is unknown
that you may bless their work,
and strengthen and sustain those who love them.
In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.


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Listen to Address: 

Sam Kiley, Foreign Affairs Editor, Sky News


Scheherazade Daneshkhu, Consumer Industries Editor, Financial Times read Ecclesiasticus 44: 1–15

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Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us.

The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through his great power from the beginning.

Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms, men renowned for their power, giving counsel by their understanding, and declaring prophecies: Leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learning meet for the people, wise and eloquent are their instructions:

Such as found out musical tunes, and recited verses in writing:

Rich men furnished with ability, living peaceably in their habitations:

All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their

There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises
might be reported.

And some there be, which have no memorial; who are perished, as though they had never been; and are become as though they had never been born; and their children after them.

But these were merciful men, whose righteousness hath not been forgotten.

With their seed shall continually remain a good inheritance, and their children are within the covenant.

Their seed standeth fast, and their children for their sakes.

Their seed shall remain for ever, and their glory shall not be blotted out.

Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore.

The people will tell of their wisdom, and the congregation will shew forth their praise.

Caroline Wyatt, BBC News Broadcaster read St Bride's by Jo Shapcott

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There is a tower of the winds as tall
as this one in another city, a steeple
filled with fire by the incendiary raids
of a coalition of the unwilling. Nocturnal
shocks pound the citizens who survive,
blast them out of their beds into the streets,
children bundled under their arms. The gutters flame.
Dust is alight.

I was born in a city to come and go safely through the boroughs,
carrying inside me every morning's news: pictures
of soldiers in places they didn't want
to understand, made to fight for loose change,
for the hell of it, for a can of oil. I live here,
but the smell of print and ashes is in my nose.

Peter Willis, Editor, Daily Mirror read The Charge of the Light Brigade by William Howard Russell

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This November 14, 1854 dispatch in the Times, written by William Howard Russell from the front of the Crimean War, later led Alfred Tennyson to compose the famous poem of the same name, The Charge of the Light Brigade.


If the exhibition of the most brilliant valour, of the excess of courage, and of a daring which would have reflected lustre on the best days of chivalry can afford full consolation for the disaster of today, we can have no reason to regret the melancholy loss which we sustained in a contest with a savage and barbarian enemy.

I shall proceed to describe, to the best of my power, what occurred under my own eyes, and to state the facts which I have heard from men whose veracity is unimpeachible, reserving to myself the right of private judgement in making public and in surpressing the details of what occurred on this memorable day...

At 11:00 our Light Cavalry Brigade rushed to the front... The Russians opened on them with guns from the redoubts on the right, with volleys of musketry and rifles.

They swept proudly past, glittering in the morning sun in all the pride and splendour of war. We could hardly believe the evidence of our senses. Surely that handful of men were not going to charge an army in position? Alas! It was but too true -- their desperate valour knew no bounds, and far indeed was it removed from its so-called better part -- discretion. They advanced in two lines, quickening the pace as they closed towards the enemy. A more fearful spectacle was never witnessed than by those who, without the power to aid, beheld their heroic countrymen rushing to the arms of sudden death. At the distance of 1200 yards the whole line of the enemy belched forth, from thirty iron mouths, a flood of smoke and flame through which hissed the deadly balls. Their flight was marked by instant gaps in our ranks, the dead men and horses, by steeds flying wounded or riderless across the plain. The first line was broken -- it was joined by the second, they never halted or checked their speed an instant. With diminished ranks, thinned by those thirty guns, which the Russians had laid with the most deadly accuracy, with a halo of flashing steel above their heads, and with a cheer which was many a noble fellow's death cry, they flew into the smoke of the batteries; but ere they were lost from view, the plain was strewed with their bodies and with the carcasses of horses. They were exposed to an oblique fire from the batteries on the hills on both sides, as well as to a direct fire of musketry.

Through the clouds of smoke we could see their sabres flashing as they rode up to the guns and dashed between them, cutting down the gunners as they stood. The blaze of their steel, like an officer standing near me said, "was like the turn of a shoal of mackerel." We saw them riding through the guns, as I have said; to our delight, we saw them returning, after breaking through a column of Russian infantry and scattering them like chaff, when the flank fire of the battery on the hill swept them down, scattered and broken as they were. Wounded men and dismounted troopers flying towards us told the sad tale -- demigods could not have done what they had failed to do. At the very moment when they were about to retreat, a regiment of lancers was hurled upon their flank. Colonel Shewell, of the 8th Hussars, saw the danger and rode his men straight at them, cutting his way through with fearful loss. The other regiments turned and engaged in a desperate encounter. With courage too great almost for credence, they were breaking their way through the columns which enveloped them, where there took place an act of atrocity without parallel in modern warfare of civilized nations. The Russian gunners, when the storm of cavalry passed, returned to their guns. They saw their own cavalry mingled with the troopers who had just ridden over them, and to the eternal disgrace of the Russian name, the miscreants poured a murderous volley of grape and canister on the mass of struggling men and horses, mingling friend and foe in one common ruin. It was as much as our Heavy Cavalry Brigade could do to cover the retreat of the miserable remnants of that band of heroes as they returned to the place they had so lately quitted in all the pride of life.

At 11:35 not a British soldier, except the dead and dying, was left in front of those bloody Muscovite guns...


journalists 2017.JPGThe choir & organist of St Bride's performed the following anthems and songs:-

I wait for thy loving kindness - McKie

He ain't heavy - Russell/Scott, arr. Robert Jones

And I saw a new heaven - Bainton

Justorum animae - Lassus


Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

Lord Of All Hopefulness

Thine Be The Glory

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