Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Finchley British and Foreign Bible Society

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Christ Church Hall, North Finchley
Source: Finchley Times, 28 October 1966
Editorial comments: 1430.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 796
Themes: Autobiographical comments, Religion & morality

Record amount realised at sale of work

The Annual Sale of Work of the North Finchley & Whetstone Auxiliary of the British & Foreign Bible Society was held in Christ Church Hall, North Finchley, on Saturday.

At the formal opening the platform party consisted of Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, MP; the Rev. Ralph Y. Baldry, Vicar of St. Luke's and Chairman of the Auxiliary, and Mrs. Baldry; the Rev. H. J. Parks. Vicar of Christ Church. and Mrs. Parks; Major and Mrs. C. W. Hume, Joint Hon. Secretaries of the Auxiliary: Mr. P. F. Hughes, Hon. Treasurer of the Auxiliary, and Mrs. Hughes, Chairman of the Women's Committee of the Auxiliary.

The proceedings opened with prayer led by Mr. Baldry and then Mrs. Parks read a Scripture passage from Isaiah Chapter 55, verse 6.

The Chairman then spoke about the work of the Auxiliary and explained that it was traditional for the Chairmanship to be passed around so that all the churches in the Auxiliary were in time, represented in this way.

There was a need for many different denominations to share the work of spreading the word of God throughout the world. He said it was perhaps a good thing that other officials of the Auxiliary should be more permanent: he referred to the fact that Major and Mrs. Hume had recently become Joint Honorary Secretaries, while Mr. P. F. Hughes had been Hon. Treasurer for many years. He expressed thanks to them and to the stall-holders and all other helpers who had been brought in, and very special thanks to Mr. Parks and the members of Christ Church for the loan of their magnificent hall for this sale and also for their great activity behind the scenes before and during the sale in the preparation of teas.


In introducing Mrs. Thatcher as the opener of the sale. Mr. Baldry said that Chairmen and Vicars could believe what they liked politically even although they should not say it in public, but there were many things which could be said with complete neutrality about Mrs. Thatcher who always filled the bill so well on these occasions which she fitted into the life of her Constituency.

She did the job so well because she was interested in people and things and not tied down to the parochial or Westminster pump. On behalf of the Auxiliary he thanked her for coming and called upon her to open the Sale.


Mrs. Thatcher said that she often wondered whether politics was the right thing for her and whether she could do the same job better elsewhere, though she had no intention of throwing it up. She took the opportunity to refer to the terrible tragedy which had befallen Aberfan in Wales.

She thought the most awful thing that could happen to any person was that they should lose a child or that it should be afflicted with any disease. We should be filled with gratitude for merely being alive. She was also reminded of one of her favourite stories from the Bible—David 's lament for his son Absalom. We could always find in the Bible something which was so appropriate for what happens in our lives—events that always bring out the best in us and always encourage us to respond to the best instincts and never the worst.

She referred to the many translations of the Bible, including the recent Jerusalem translation, but she thought we were very lucky in having in the Authorised Version the most beautiful translation of all, as it is the most beautiful piece of language that exists.

Other translations made one look at it again and, while she personally would stick to the Authorised Version of 1611, it was not the translation that mattered but the deep feelings and beliefs that the translations could voice.

She said with humility that the work of the Auxiliary was far more important than any work which she ever did in Parliament and that political work was nothing like as important as the work of the Church, which is the work which will eventually bring about the better world which we all hope for. She felt it an honour and privilege to declare open this sale in aid of the Auxiliary of the Bible Society.


A bouquet was then presented to Mrs. Thatcher by Sarah Falk. the small daughter of the organist of Christ Church.

The stalls at the sale covered groceries, cakes, sweets, stationery needlework and fancy goods, gardening and plants, kitchen articles and toilet goods and all did a splendid trade throughout the afternoon, while the tea-room was also well patronised.

The proceeds of the sale amounted to over £134, which is a record for the Annual Sale of Work of the North Finchley and Whetstone Auxiliary.