David Meara: 'Fleet Street is a deserted village, full of ghosts and memories'

From an address by the Canon of St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, to mark the departure of the Reuters news group from the area

Share
Related Topics

From pigeon post to plasma screens and present-day computer and satellite technology - the story of Reuters is an extraordinary one by any standards.

It began over 150 years ago, but then, as now, the guiding watchwords have always been truth, honesty and impartiality.

Indeed, Punch magazine in 1944 adapted the famous phrase of Keats (from his Ode on a Grecian Urn) to declare : "Reuter is truth, truth Reuter - that is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know".

Now a new chapter is beginning as you leave your headquarters of the past 65 years and move to Canary Wharf. As you go, I want to reflect on the extraordinary fact that we are gathered in this church.

For over 500 years, since Wynkyn de Worde brought his printing press from Westminster and set it up at the corner of St Bride's Churchyard, this church has been the spiritual home for all involved in printing, newspaper-making, journalism, broadcasting and the wider media world. This church has witnessed the baptisms, marriages and burials of booksellers, writers, journalists, broadcasters and proprietors; we have celebrated the lives of those killed on foreign assignments, among them Farzad Bazoft, John Schofield, Kerem Lawton, Daniel Pearl and Mazan Dana.

We remember in prayer and at the Journalists' Altar journalists whose lives are at risk for speaking the truth and those who have lost their lives covering conflicts around the world, especially in Iraq. Here, in this parish where printing was transformed from a medieval mystery into a mind-moulding mass communicator, you are remembered and your work is valued. It is a unique relationship. Nothing like it exists between the Church and any other of the business and professional groups which have such deep roots in London.

This service has been reported as the last rites of the Old Fleet Street. Fleet Street as the geographical home of the press is a deserted village, full of ghosts and memories. But it remains the generic name for the press, now a virtual community scattered across London and beyond, and St Bride's remains the spiritual home for the industry.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mobile Developer (.NET / C# / Jason / Jquery / SOA)

£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...

Humanities Teacher - Greater Manchester

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...

Design Technology Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...

Foundation Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Critics of Fiona Woolf say she should step down amid accusations of an establishment cover-up  

Fiona Woolf resignation: As soon as she became the story, she had to leave

James Ashton
 

Letters: Electorate should be given choice on drugs policy

Independent Voices
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes