Annual Church Service 

Oxford  Martyrs Memorial LOL 213

Bedford Bible and Crown Defenders LOL 71


Several members of LOL 842 travelled to Salford for this Annual Church Service.
It's a service jointly held by Oxford Martyrs Memorial LOL 213 and Bedford Bible and Crown Defenders LOL 71.

On a glorious autumn day, a good number of Brethren, Sisters and friends gathered in the medieval parish church of St. Mary-the-Virgin, in the hamlet of Salford, just outside Milton Keynes.

This parish has links with Orangeism both past and present, as several Brethren are members of this church and several are buried in the graveyard.

The service commenced at 1pm and was opened by the singing of Praise my soul,the King of heaven. The Rector, the Rev. Hugh Symes-Thompson gave pride of place at the front of the church to the bannerettes of the two Lodges hosting the service. During the service, Luton Sons of William LOL 1002, had their new bannerette dedicated by Bishop Henry Richmond - it was very fitting that on such a beautiful Harvest Sunday morning, a new bannerette was dedicated by a Bishop, in such an historic Parish church.

The first Bible reading was from Isaiah 42 vs 1-4 and was read by The Right Worshipful Grand Lecturer, Sister J. Simpson. The second, from John's Gospel, Chapter 12, verses 20-26, was read by one of the Brethren from the host Lodges.

It was this second passage of scripture that Bishop Henry Richmond used as the basis for his sermon. In a thought provoking lesson, he urged members of the Order and Christians in general to be more accepting of those who were not the same as us or have the same beliefs.

The collection was then taken up with the proceeds being split between St Mary's Restoration Fund and the Orange Orphan's Charity.

The service was then concluded by the singing of Great is Thy Faithfulness, during which the bannerettes were returned to their Lodges. This was followed by the blessing and finally the National Anthem.


After moving outside for photographs, a splendid lunch was provided in the nearby Agate Hall. During the lunch, a presentation of the new book on Orangeism, Beyond the Banners, was made to the Rev Hugh Symes-Thompson and also a cheque was given towards the restoration fund.


Many thanks to the host Lodges, St. Mary's, Rev Symes-Thompson and Bishop Richmond for organising a very enjoyable Sunday service and a fine lunch afterwards.