Sunday, 21 March 2010

United Guilds' Service 2010

The City Livery Companies - the Guilds - hold their annual service at St Paul's.

The history of the service is recorded on the service sheet thus:

'At a meeting of the Masters and Prime Wardens of the Twelve Great Companies, held at Goldsmiths' hall on February 1st 1943, it was decided to hold a service in St Paul's Cathedral for the Livery Companies and Guilds of the City of London. The idea behind the service was to help lift the spirits of the City following the Blitz during the Second World War.

Having regard to the religious origins of the Companies, Thursday 25th March, 1943, Lady Day, was selected as the date for the service, being the first day of the year according to the Julian Calendar. The Right Honourable the Lodr Mayor of London, Sir Samuel Joseph, attended along with the Sherrifs and Court Aldermen and the Right Reverend The Lord Bishop of London, Dr GF Fisher, preached the sermon.

As far as records show, this was the first occasion on which all the livery Companies and Guilds of the City combined to hold a religious service. Since then, it has become an annual event and remains one of the few occasions in the calendar at which the Livery Companies and Guilds of the City can gather together as a whole.'

On this occasion, the Dean, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles gave the Bidding, and the sermon was preached by the Right Reverend Graham James, Bishop of Norwich. The Bishop of London gave the Blessing.

I was lucky enough to attend with some fellow liverymen of the Drapers Livery Company.