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Sentamu Pays Tribute To Beveridge At Northumberland Church

Lord Beveridge Gravestone at the Church of St Aidan, Thockrington, Northumberland

Monday 6th May 2013

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will preach at the 900-year-old Church of St Aidan, Thockrington, Northumberland, in a service of Evening Worship at 4.00pm on Sunday 12 May 2013. At the service he will give thanks for the life of Lord Beveridge who was buried in the churchyard fifty years ago in 1963.

Also present will be Lord Beveridge's two surviving step-grandsons, Mr George Gwilt and Mr David Burn, who serves as Lay Chair of Thockrington's Parochial Church Council and as a Churchwarden of the neighbouring church of St Giles, Birtley.

 

Dr Sentamu has often referred to the importance of Beveridge’s 1942 report "Social Insurance and Allied Services", which led to the introduction of the welfare state and the National Health Service by the post-war Attlee Government.

 

In a 2009 lecture to the Smith Institute, Dr Sentamu said, "...the Beveridge reforms transformed the lives of millions.  They virtually became a touchstone of what Britain was about.  For the first time, everyone was entitled to a reasonable income if they were unemployed, a proper pension, paid holidays and above all, free healthcare. If you became sick, the state would care for you. There are many countries in the world that still do not enjoy these entitlements today."

 

Beveridge's wife, Janet, died in 1959, and on his own death in 1963 Lord Beveridge was buried beside her. His links with Northumberland were strong: he briefly served as Liberal Member of Parliament for Berwick in 1944 and 1945, and made his home at Tuggal Hall near Bamburgh, taking the title Lord Beveridge of Tuggal in 1946.

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