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Two nations' 'Unwritten Alliance' the focus of annual St Paul's US Thanksgiving service

America the Beautiful echoed around St Paul's as the American community in London gathered at the Cathedral for the annual Thanksgiving Day service.

2,000 people came to give thanks on Thursday 27 November, in a service attended by the US Ambassador, Matthew Barzun, who read a message from President Obama.


Speaking to the congregation, Mr Barzun told of a previous Ambassador who had helped dig the people of London out of the rubble of the Second World War Blitz, epitomising the close friendship between the two nations which is maintained to this day.

He said: "This special relationship of ours is not the outcome of a summit. No one signed a pact or a treaty. It wasn’t negotiated as part of some agreement or accord. To use Churchill’s other phrase for it: it is the Unwritten Alliance.

"For it is born of and sustained by the millions of living, breathing relationships between Americans and Brits that all of you represent today.

"So as my act of giving thanks, I would like - on behalf of the United States of America - to say thanks."


The service included a mix of readings, prayer and music, including a brand-new especially-written commission by American composer, Paul Crabtree. Congregational hymns included America the Beautiful; Come ye thankful people, come; and Now thank we all our God.

Both the Combined Choirs of the American Congregations in London and the St Paul's Cathedral Choir sung during the service and the sermon was given by The Reverend John A. D’Elia, Senior Pastor, The American International Church.


The service also provided a fantastic opportunity for the Cathedral Choir to launch details of its upcoming tour to the United States, which will see it sing in eight venues across seven States in April 2015.

Full details can be found at