The London Manx Society’s latest meeting welcomed two special guests.

In attendance was president of the Manx Society of Southern Africa, Kevin Williams, and leading the meeting was the rector of the historic church where it was held, Reverend Canon Dr Alison Joyce of St Bride’s.

The service at the 17th century church included hymns to Manx music as well as harvest songs, with Rev Joyce preaching a ‘well-received’ sermon that explained how her school-day friendship with a pupil from the island enabled her to understand ‘the pull of Ellan Vannin to all who have left its shores’.

A plaque in the church commemorates the LMS’s contributions to help rebuild the church after the Blitz.

Society secretary Douglas Barr-Hamilton said that ‘the only sad element is that London Manx have lost five members in the past year and it remembered Peter Burns, Clare Crellin, Derek Costain, Rose Fowler and Douglas Wellman’.

He explained that after the service everyone walked the few yards to the 15th century Fleet Street pub, ‘The Old Bull’ for lunch amidst ‘a buzz of conversation as members caught up with others’ life, learned about South African Manx, exchanged news that had arrived from the island and committee members stole a few minutes to discuss exciting plans for something different for its spring-time lunch next year’.

The spring event will be the first one to be held since 2019, because of the disruption of the pandemic.