This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday 7 July 2024

Quick World Cup of Latin Mass Letter Writers

As is probably well known to most readers, 48 fairly famous people, mostly from the world of writing, music and politics, signed a letter to the Times, making an appeal to the Pope to stop stamping on the Traditional Latin Mass and its adherents (I paraphrase here). This was similar to the "Agatha Christie" letter addressed to Pope Paul VI in 1971, which was largely succesful in its results.

But what should we call this letter, or rather, after whom? The 48 noble signatories are listed below, and I intend to conduct a quick world cup - I want to get it done in 2 weeks, so the rules will be slightly different - to choose one of the names.

Some are very well known, some rather obscure, but I think they all have Wikipedia entries, if you need any help working out who they are. I don't expect this Quick World Cup to be as popular as some others - for example the new World Cup of Bad Hymns, due to run in August - but I will bear this sorrow courageously.

The 48 runners are:
Robert Agostinelli
Lord Alton of Liverpool
Lord Bailey of Paddington
Lord Bamford
Lord Berkeley of Knighton
Sophie Bevan
Ian Bostridge
Nina Campbell
Meghan Cassidy
Sir Nicholas Coleridge
Dame Imogen Cooper
Lord Fellowes of West Stafford
Sir Rocco Forte
Lady Antonia Fraser
Martin Fuller
Lady Getty
John Gilhooly
Dame Jane Glover
Michael Gove
Susan Hampshire
Lord Hesketh
Tom Holland
Sir Stephen Hough
Tristram Hunt
Steven Isserlis
Bianca Jagger
Igor Levit
Lord Lloyd-Webber
Julian Lloyd Webber
Dame Felicity Lott
Sir James MacMillan
Princess Michael of Kent
Baroness Monckton of Dallington Forest
Lord Moore of Etchingham
Fraser Nelson
Alex Polizzi
Mishka Rushdie Momen
Sir Andras Schiff
Lord Skidelsky
Lord Smith of Finsbury
Sir Paul Smith
Rory Stewart
Lord Stirrup
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
Dame Mitsuko Uchida
Ryan Wigglesworth
A N Wilson
Adam Zamoyski
And this was the letter (you can click to enlarge).

TLM letter



Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa


  1. Michael Gove is the devil incarnate.

  2. As a Kiwi, I was pleasantly surprised to see Dame Kiri on the list, so she gets my vote. Along with Steven Isserlis and Yehudi Menuhin from Agatha Christie 1.0, that makes three unexpected supporters of the TLM that I have seen on stage in Wellington.

  3. My vote is for Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

  4. Alas, I can't vote for Kiri as I am not on X. Still, I should point out that she has sung about writing a letter on two occasions that I know of. As the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, a role for which she is celebrated, she dictates a letter to her maid, Susanna - a letter designed to entrap her philandering husband, who has his eyes set on Susanna. See this video, beginning at 30:00.

    Then there is Kiri's “signature tune”, Po karekare ana, which includes the lyrics:

    Tuhituhi taku reta,
    tuku atu taku rīngi,
    Kia kite tō iwi
    raru raru ana e.

    I have written my letter,
    I have sent my ring,
    so that your people can see
    that I am troubled.

    Whati whati taku pene
    ka pau aku pepa
    Ko taku aroha
    mau tonu ana e.

    My poor pen is shattered,
    I have no more paper,
    But my love
    is still steadfast.

    1. She has also sung Tatiana (another famous letter-writer) in Eugene Onegin. It's on Youtube.

  5. A hat trick! Kia ora, Kiri, well done!