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Watch again: PD James speaks at St Paul's Cathedral

Today the Cathedral is very saddened to hear that PD James, great detective fiction writer and friend to St Paul's, has died aged 94.
 
Baroness James of Holland Park visited St Paul's on several occasions, not least for a special service to mark the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in 2012.
 
We were also greatly honoured to welcome her to the Cathedral last year, when she took part in a ‘conversation under the dome’ about divine and human creativity.



The Reverend Canon Michael Hampel, Precentor of St Paul's Cathedral and a friend of Baroness James, said: "We are desperately sad to hear of P D James' death. Her creative genius put her alongside the great authors of detective fiction, not least Dorothy L Sayers whom Lady James greatly admired. Like Sayers, James developed the genre of the detective - making location and environment crucial vehicles of both plot and character development.
 
"She loved Choral Evensong according to the Book of Common Prayer, a staple part of the diet of cathedral worship. Her publisher once asked her if they should explain the Prayer Book allusion in the title of her novel ‘Devices and Desires’ to which she responded that any self-respecting Englishman should know that it came from the General Confession of the Book of Common Prayer.
 
"She was a woman of sharp intellect and profound grace and those of us who met her here at St Paul’s were hugely privileged to have done so."