John Keble Church, Mill Hill recently hosted a three day Patronal and Flower Festival to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the death of the poet, priest and reformer, John Keble.
The celebration involved a number of events commemorating his life and work. This included a Flower Festival and Exhibition and the launch of the inaugural Keble Annual Memorial Lecture by the Bishop of Edmonton, which was delivered by Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Bishop of London also visited and preached at the Choral Evensong which was attended by many members of the church and neighbouring parishes to celebrate the life of John Keble.
The Reverend Rana Khan, Interim Priest at John Keble Church, said of the festival “The Patronal and Flower Festival to celebrate the life and works of John Keble was a great success. We were delighted so many members of the public were able to join us, and honoured that such distinguished guests as the Bishop of London, Bishop of Edmonton and Dr Rowan Williams were able to take part.”
John Keble (1792 –1866) was ordained in 1816 and in 1827 published a popular and influential book of poems called The Christian Year which contained poems for the Sundays and Feast Days of the Church Year. In July 1833, he preached his famous Assize Sermon at Oxford on “National Apostasy,” which is generally considered to be the beginning of the religious revival known as the Tractarian or as the Oxford Movement.
He was also Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1831 to 1841, and from 1836 until his death he was priest of a small parish in the village of Hursley near Winchester. Three years after his death Keble College, Oxford was founded in his memory. John Keble Church, Mill Hill was founded in 1932 and is currently the only church to bear his name.