2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, and also of the visit of a certain Bill Wilson to Winchester Cathedral. A young officer sent from American to fight in the trenches, Bill survived the war and went on to write one of the world’s best-selling books – the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous. And on the first page he recounted the story of his wartime visit to the cathedral. Today people from all over the world make the trip to see the grave of Thomas Thetcher which so inspired him.
This August there will be a ‘Celebration of Recovery’ in the Cathedral Close attended by many local organisations concerned with various aspects of recovery. Throughout August there will be a display in the Winchester Discovery Centre illustrating the world of AA – with thousands of meetings held internationally every day, and over 200 self- help groups using the 12 Step Programme developed by Bill Wilson and his friends.
A play about Bill’s visit is currently being written.
For further information please contact Chrissie B, AA’s Public information Liaison Officer for the Winchester Area on 01794324461 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The present gravestone may be seen at any time in the cathedral churchyard – filming permission by arrangement with the Dean and Chapter. The ‘Bill Wilson’ stone may be viewed by arrangement with the curator of the Hampshire Regimental Museum in Winchester.