Today marks 50 years since the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
Pictured is Tim Crawley's statue of King above the West entrance of Westminster Abbey.
Back in 1964, on his way to Oslo to collect the Nobel Peace Prize, Doctor King broke his journey in London. He preached at St Paul's Cathedral on 6th December 1964.
This from the St Paul's Cathedral website…
On the morning of 6 December 1964 he addressed a congregation of 4,000 people from the Cathedral pulpit and delivered his sermon "The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life".
In the sermon he described the first dimension as being a life of self interest "living as though no one else existed - victimized by the acid of egoism"; the second dimension he characterised as the outward concern with the welfare of others, "a love of humanity"; and the third dimension was man's upward reach towards God. The sermon exhorted the congregation to be the best that they could be.
"If you can’t be a pine on the top of a hill be a scrub in the valley - but be the best little scrub on the side of the hill.
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway just be a trail.
If you can’t be the sun be a star; It isn’t by size that you win or fail - be the best of whatever you are.
And when you do this, when you do this, you’ve mastered the length of life."
After the sermon – at which he had addressed some 4,000 people in a packed, standing-room-only cathedral – he gave a press conference in which he warned that immigration laws based on colour would be completely at odds with the teaching of God.
Visit the St Paul's website here – www.stpauls.co.uk/history-collections/history/history-highlights/martin-luther-king – for a full account of Dr King's visit.
In an excellent piece for The Guardian in 2015 Hugh Muir analyses Dr King's visit in the context of Britain immigration policies of the 60s. Read it here: www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/02/martin-luther-king-in-london-1964-reflections-on-a-landmark-visit
Today at Westminster Abbey a special service in honour of Dr King – Rediscovering Justice: A Service of Hope – will take place at noon. Full details at the Abbey's website: www.westminster-abbey.org
A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.