St Thomas More Vault

The Fellowship of St Thomas More was founded in 1971 by Rev Hugh Albin, the then Vicar of St Dunstan’s.  Coming from Northern Ireland, Rev Albin saw an opportunity for people of different backgrounds from around the world to unite behind, and cherish, the memory of St Thomas More; a man of courage and integrity.  The aim of the Fellowship is to encourage research into Tudor times and support the values upheld by More.  

A journal is published annually, with the most recent 2020 journal found here.  Rev Jo Richards was pleased to welcome and include in the commemorative service on 6 July 2019 two eminent guests who can be seen in the photograph on the last page of this journal.

Watch a documentary of the life of St Thomas More that gives an outline of his life and the reasons that led to his beheading at Tower Hill on 6 July 1535.   Margaret, his beloved daughter, retrieved his head from a stake on London Bridge where it had been ‘displayed’ after the execution at The Tower of London and brought it back to Canterbury.  St Thomas More's head lies buried in the crypt of the Roper Chapel in St Dunstan's Church, together with the remains of Margaret and son-in-law, William Roper.   

Every year on 6 July, the date of St Thomas More's execution, the Fellowship holds a commemorative civic service, which is attended by the Lord Mayor and members of the legal profession, with an address by a scholar or public figure.  

On Saturday 6 July 2019, a very lively and informative address was given by Professor Jackie Eales on the subject of Humanist Ideas on the Education of Women, with particular reference to More’s highly intelligent and educated daughter, Margaret.   A full transcript can be found in the 2020 journal.  

The knowledge that More’s head is interred in the vault at St Dunstan's Church is one reason why so many pilgrims come to visit.  There are plans to gradually improve both the information and ‘experience’ available to visitors. (New leaflets on St Thomas More are usually available in the Church.)

If you wish to join the fellowship group, please contact the Benefice Office below or use the Contact Us form.

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