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300th Anniversary

John Martin's Charity Tercentenary Commemorations

John Martin’s Charity was formed 300 years ago. To mark this occasion and celebrate John Martin’s generous bequest to support the clergy, the poor and provide for education, a Service of Commemoration was held at Worcester Cathedral on Wednesday 2nd July 2014.

The Chairman and Board of Trustees were pleased to welcome a congregation of around 450 people, including the Deputy Lord-Lieutenant, Professor Michael Clarke and his wife Angela. The Mayor of Evesham and Chair of Wychavon District Council also attended along with representatives and children from all the schools and college in Evesham together with many other local organisations and individuals.

The congregation were treated to a wonderful performance by a brass ensemble from Prince Henry’s High School, which included former pupils as well. A fanfare "Celebration" had been composed especially for the occasion by Mr Lee Fisher.

A combined choir from Prince Henry’s and Evesham High Schools, led by Phill Bullas and Chris Keir then performed “Jubilate” by Bob Chilcott and “Look at the World” by John Rutter before joining with the Cathedral Choir for “I Was Glad”.

The Dean of Worcester, The Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, welcomed everyone to the Service.

A notable contribution was from John Raphael who gave a dramatic rendition of a poem written for the Charity by Evesham poet Mike Edwards. The poem was based on the life and times of John Martin and was delivered in the authentic period clothing of an 18th Century yeoman farmer.

Following a thought provoking sermon by the Bishop of Worcester, Frank Syvret, winner of the Evesham Music Festival’s 2013 Young Musician of the Year contest, played a flute solo.

A symbolic offering of a cornucopia of bread was made towards the end of the service. This represented the Charity’s work in the areas of religion, education and the relief of those in need.

The cornucopia is now part of the exhibition about the Charity which is on view from July 2nd - 6th in the Dean’s Chapel at the Cathedral. This exhibition features many of the local organisations that have been assisted by the Charity and includes some excellent project and art work from local schools on the theme of “Life in Evesham”.

Later in the summer, items from the exhibition will be on display at venues in Evesham.

The Trustees would like to thank everyone who was involved with the Service, those who attended and all the contributors to the exhibition.They helped to make the Charity’s 300th Anniversary a very special and memorable occasion.

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