Australia Day Service and Lunch, Bath Abbey

Date(s) - 26 January, 2020
10:15 am - 2:30 pm

Bath Abbey


Bath Abbey – Bath, BA1 1LT

The West Country Branch of the Britain-Australia Society is pleased to invite you to our Annual Australia Day Service held this year at Bath Abbey, followed by a lunch and speeches at the Bath & County Club.

Bath Abbey is one of the oldest and most important places of worship in the West country. First recorded in 675 AD as a Saxon Convent its status grew, and in 973 AD Edger was crowned King of all of England in the Saxon Abbey. In 1088 the Bishop of Wells ordered the building of a large new cathedral, which replaced the Saxon Abbey. This was replaced in 1499 when construction for a new church began. Following the dissolution in 1539, the Abbey was given to the city of Bath in 1560, to use as its parish church. In 1833 AD the City of Bath asked George Phillips Manners, a local architect, to restore the Abbey. He made serval major changes to the building such as changing the design of the towers and adding the flying buttresses, as well as installing a new organ inside the building and creating extra seating.

Various additions and restorations were completed over the next hundred years until the WWII bombing of Bath in 1942. Although the Abbey was not directly bombed, the great east window and the windows in the north side were badly damaged and a post war restoration program was commenced using funds raised by the Friends of Bath Abbey. In 1991 “The Abbey 2000” restoration programme began. It included the restoration of the West Front, cleaning of the outside and inside and the building of a new organ. In 2010 “The Footprint Project” was launched with aims to repair the historic floor, create new space including a Song School, install a new heating system and create a discovery centre to retell the story of the Abbey.

The lunch will be held at the nearby Bath & County Club:

Bath & County Club – Queen’s Parade, Bath BA1 2NJ, United Kingdom

This year we are pleased to have Jeremy Key-Pugh, of the Bath Footsteps project, as our luncheon guest speaker. Jeremy was born and raised in Birmingham, and after reading French and German at Oxford University, started teaching those languages to teenagers. He came to Bath in 1973 to teach at Kingswood School and was still there when he retired in 2005. In 1974 he joined the choir of Bath Abbey and sang with them for 20 years; for a few years after that he was a deputy Vicar Choral at Wells Cathedral. But his involvement with Bath Abbey soon extended beyond the choirstalls and he became, successively, a member of the Church Council, its vice-chairman, one of the Abbey’s representatives on Deanery Synod, and latterly Lay Chair of that Synod. He became a Lay Reader (licensed lay minister) in 1995. He was churchwarden of the Abbey 2008-2014 and is currently Secretary of the Friends of Bath Abbey. He greatly enjoys studying the history of the Abbey and its relationship with the City and represents the Church Council and congregation on the Board of the Footprint Project. Jeremy has been married to Ros for a little over 50 years and has two children and two grandsons of whom he is inordinately proud. (They have already visited Australia even though their grandfather has not managed to do so … yet.)

Jeremy Key-Pugh


10.15 The Service – Bath Abbey
11.15 To the Bath & Country Club
11.30 Welcome – Bath & Country Club
12.30 Lunch and Speeches
2.30 End

Costs are £34 for members and £39 for non-members.

To book:
Please email the branch administrator, Kath Lilley:
Include your, and your guests’ names, and whether they are member or not and your payment method. Please also indicate any dietary requirements for each attendee.

To Pay:
Option 1 (preferred): Please transfer funds electronically to Lloyds Bank Branch Sort Code: 30-90-54 Account Number: 04560502 Account Name: Britain-Australia Society Give your name as a reference.

Option 2: By Cheque made payable to the “Britain Australia Society, West Country Branch, posted together with details of your name and the event to Kath Lilley, 5 Pines Way, Radstock, BA33EZ. Please advise that a cheque has been posted in your acceptance email.

If you have any queries you are welcome to contact: Kath Lilley ( or myself, ( or phone 07837 972983).

Keith Newton – Chairman