The Commandery of Avalon hosted this year’s Southern Investiture in Exeter on the 25th October, and we were treated kindly by the weather when the Bailiff and members, headed by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Exeter, with The Hon. Miss Ann Widdecombe, DSG as an honoured guest, moved in procession from the Guildhall to the splendour of the Cathedral Quire. The service was conducted by the Commander of Avalon, the Reverend Louis Baycock, ECLJ, the address given by the Reverend Canon Brendan Clover ChLJ MMLJ, Senior Provost of Woodard Schools, the first lesson was read by the postulant from Avalon, Mr Timothy Smart, and the assisting chaplains were Father Ray O’Shea ECLJ, MMLJ, the Very Reverend Father Sergius Scott ECLJ, and Father David Skeoch ECLJ, all former Chaplains-General of the jurisdiction. The organist was Mr Ian Smith and the Heritage Singers, under their director Mrs Sylvia Pritchard, led the hymns and sang the anthem ‘Beati quorum via’ by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford and a setting of the Nunc Dimittis from the Evening Service in F by Sir George Dyson.
Before the Blessing and Dismissal, the Revd Louis Baycock received from Colonel the Chevalier Dr Glynn Evans KLJ the St Lazarus flag (now laid up and framed) which had flown over Camp Bastion during 2014. It will be sent to the Order's archives at the Torri Ta Lanzun on Malta.
The service was followed by a reception in the Mayor’s Parlour at the Guildhall; an excellent luncheon was served in the Guildhall attended by 78 members and friends. The usual toasts were honoured, and the Bailiff proposed a toast to ‘The Lord Mayor and the City of Exeter’, at the same time presenting a cheque for £500 to the Lord Mayor’s Charity, Exeter Leukemia Fund. The Lord Mayor expressed his thanks and gave a very amusing reply with an explanation of some of the heraldic devices on display. It is fair to say that the whole occasion was thoroughly happy and enjoyable, giving those who had never visited Exeter an excellent impression of a lively and forward looking city.
The Revd Louis Baycock ECLJ
Commander of Avalon