The Visit of the Visitor
The Right Reverend Michael Langrish, the 70th Bishop of Exeter, whose predecessor Walter de Stapeldon founded Exeter College in 1314, made a visit to the college on Sunday 12th February to preach to a packed chapel at Evensong.
The Bishop’s sermon reported a debate on slavery at the General Synod, in which one speaker had pointed out that a former Bishop of Exeter, Henry Philpotts, had been a slave-owner. Focusing on chapter three of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, the Bishop remarked on the apostle’s twin qualities of disciplined analysis of the past and vision for the future, and linked this to current campaigns to ‘Make Poverty History’, saying that both these approaches needed to be applied in tandem if such efforts are to succeed.
The chapel choir’s performance of Herbert Howell’s setting of a Prudentius poem, ‘Humnus circa Exsequias Defuncti’ added to the atmosphere of what will be remembered an evocative and thought provoking service.