3 March 2014: a memorial service held in honour of former South African president Nelson Mandela at London’s royal church, Westminster Abbey.
The Very Reverend John Hall, the dean of Westminster, announced a memorial stone would be placed in the abbey later this year.
“Nelson Mandela was one of the most remarkable world leaders of the last century. His remarkable constancy under suffering stands as an example to everyone,” he said.
“In addition, his capacity for forgiveness and his generosity of spirit show what humanity at its best can achieve.”
“His memorial in Westminster Abbey, justified in itself, standing amongst memorials to many of the greatest men and women of the world – not all of them British – will also prove to be a focus of contemplation and prayer for the gift of forgiveness and reconciliation in many communities and places in our troubled world.”
The abbey falls under the direct jurisdiction of Queen Elizabeth, head of the Church of England. Since at least 1066, sovereigns have been crowned here and it is the burial ground of eighteen British monarchs.
It is one of Britain’s most significant honours to be buried or commemorated at the abbey. Among those commemorated are Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare, John Wesley, Martin Luther King, Francis Drake, Edward Elgar, Oscar Wilde, CS Lewis and now Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
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