05 Christopher Hoare, for David Hopkinson

This article is based on the record of an electronic note taker (ENT) hired to provide deaf attendees with a rendering of what people said in real time. It is a phonetic account, first and foremost, taken down in the heat of the moment. An echo of what was said rather than a reflection of what might have been written before or since.

Sandra Saer: I will now ask Christopher Hoare to speak.

Christopher Hoare: I feel hesitant about addressing you, as you were expecting someone from the top of the tree, not a twig. Some of you know more about this topic than I do. David Hopkinson could not be with us today.

David served in the Navy and then became a clerk in the House of Commons: in 1962 he joined M&G until 1987. He was chair of Harrison and Crossfield, Wolverhampton Brewery, was on the Bank of England advisory committee, he advised on pension funds. He was always publicly minded and cultured. He advised the English Chamber Orchestra, he was governor of well-regarded public schools. He was a church commissioner in 1973. He was on our cathedral development trust, Brighton Pavilion etc. He is a generous donor for a wide number of causes.

He is a fellow of St Anne’s college Oxford, a CBE.

Bishop Bell officiated at David’s wedding. There is a picture of the occasion – Richard has put a copy of David’s book in the library. Bishop Bell remained a friend of the Hopkinsons. I was going to talk about his wartime exploits. I think that is irrelevant.

It was after Bishop Bell’s [?death?] that David was appointed. Bishop Bell visited almost every week when in the country. Mothers and the superior loved him.

The order had funds. I don’t know how many others laid claim to the vision of the house of contemplation. The greatest credit must be his.

There were fears about the longevity of the existing sisters. The building was blessed in 2008 when there were only four still living. All have now become angels. May they rest in their graves.

David said: “I have vested interest in the outcome of the change in name. I have instructed for £50,000 within my will to be given but this is dependent on the change in name. Given my age it needs to happen soon!”