This year’s Rectory Society AGM was held in the high Victorian Gothic church of St Paul’s in Knightsbridge on 31st January. Members and guests were treated to a very engaging talk by the artist and writer, Edmund de Waal. Widely regarded as one of Britain’s pre-eminent contemporary ceramicists he has also become a best selling author with his book The Hare with Amber Eyes, in which he meticulously traced his own dramatic family history through a collection of carved Japanese Netsuke which had survived through several generations and two world wars.
Edmund gave a gentle narrative account of his unconventional childhood at the Chancery in Lincoln and then the Deanery at Canterbury. He recalled how these two large ecclesiastical homes provided he and his brothers with an extraordinary if chilly backdrop for their adventures and exploits. He also explained how the Church of England’s open door philosophy delivered an intriguing array of visitors to their home, from the grand to the dipossessed.
Sadly the Rectory Society’s patron, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, was unable to attend due to poor health but she sent her apologies and good wishes.
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