A group of members and guests visited Lambeth Palace on 24th July. This was a great privilege, as very few private tours are allowed.
The afternoon started with Mass in the 14th Century Crypt, the oldest part of the Palace, celebrated by Canon Richard Hearn who is the Dean of St George’s Cathedral in Southwark.
This was followed by a guided tour of the Palace, including the Chapel, above the Crypt, which is also one of the oldest parts but has been renovated several times over the years. The Great Chamber, now known as The Guard Room, is a library and houses a great number of ecclesiastical volumes – in fact we were told that only the Vatican Library houses more religious books than those at Lambeth Palace. It is said that it was in this Hall that St Thomas More refused to swear an Oath of Supremacy declaring Henry VIII head of the Church of England and was taken to the Tower of London and eventually executed.
Our two knowledgeable guides also showed us some interesting paintings and artefacts and lead us through the lovely gardens. Tea and biscuits were served to end a very pleasant afternoon.