THE MORNING POST AUGUST 4 1913
EXTRAORDINARY SCENE AT ST. PAUL’S
An extraordinary scene occurred in St. Paul’s Cathedral yesterday morning. Between 20 and 30 women, mostly young, and attired in summer costumes, occupied seats in the main aisle, and behaved as ordinary members of the congregation until the conclusion of the Litany. Then the women caused a sensation by rising and chanting in harmony with the choir words from a printed leaflet, which although difficult to catch, appeared to be as follows:
Save Emmeline Pankhurst
Spare her! Spare her!
Give her light and set her free.
Save her! Save her!
Hear us while we pray to Thee!
Although it is unusual for the congregation to stand during the Lord’s Prayer, the women were not immediately interfered with, for so indistinctly had they uttered their invocation that the vergers were unaware that they were singing anything other than the words of the service. Upon the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, however, they continued singing, repeating the verse three of four times, each time in a louder key, and it was then realised who they were and what the nature of the chanting was. The outburst created a profound sensation among the congregation. Vergers at once approached the women, and asked them to leave the Cathedral, a request with which most of the women complied without any further disturbance. A short struggle took place, however, between a few of them and the vergers, during which some chairs were overturned. No reference was made to the incident by the preacher.
Dean Inge, seen after the service, intimated that the Cathedral authorities were not likely to take any action in connection with the women’s behaviour.
THE MORNING POST AUGUST 11 1913
SCENE AT WESTMINSTER ABBEY
The scene which took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral a week ago was repeated at Westminster Abbey during Divine service yesterday morning. Forty women, in two batches, entered the Abbey and seated themselves a few rows from the front facing the pulpit without attracting attention. When the Litany was about halfway through one batch began to chant the “prayer” for Mrs. Pankhurst, which it was stated had been printed and circulated among the militants for general use. At first, as the organ was playing the interruption was not noticed, and the women had got through the verse once before it dawned on the congregation what was happening. Vergers hurried to the spot and touched some of the women on the shoulder and asked them to go outside but the interrupters sang the verse through again, and then walked quietly out by the north-west door. Scarcely had they gone when another batch of twenty got up and chanted their appeal, and they were also spoken to, and quietly left. Although considerable commotion was caused the service was proceeded with as if nothing had happened.