Laying The Foundation Stone, Thursday 8th November 1849
The Rt Lord Grosvenor’s speech
On arrival at St Matthew’s, the Bishop invoked a blessing and read from Psalm 84 ‘Oh how amiable are thy dwellings, Thou Lord of Hosts’.
According to the Daily News, Lord Grosvenor ‘deeply felt the honour which had been conferred upon him in having been selected to lay the foundation stone of this sacred edifice and at the same time he felt his inability to do justice to so solemn and important occasion’.
Lord Grosvenor had great personal interest in the parish as he had been both born and baptised in the parish of St John’s and had been educated at Westminster School.
The paper reported that ‘from the time of infancy to manhood he may say that he had spent time amongst them (the people) and had consequently ample opportunity of obtaining knowledge of their wants. He therefore felt exceedingly glad that God had put it into the hearts of many good people in the parish to erect a church that spot and he hoped that ot would give a blessing to the neighbourhood.’
The silver trowel which was used for laying the foundation stone was inscribed with:
‘Presented to the Right Hon. Lord Grosvenor MP by the inhabitants of the district of St Matthew, Westminster on the occasion of his laying the foundation stone of the church November 8 1849.'
While the stone was being laid in position, the ceremony was accompanied by the prayer of dedication and concluded with the pronouncing of ‘the Benediction by the Rt Revd Prelate’.
At the end of the ceremony, the procession reformed and proceeded to Bessborough Gardens for the laying of the foundation stone of the church of Holy Trinity.