United Guilds Service, St Paul's Cathedral
Friday 29th March 2019
The site of St Paul's Cathedral has been the site of Christian worship for over 1,400 years. The famous building designed by Sir Christopher Wren following the Great Fire of London is positively modern being a mere 344 years old but none of its predecessors were quite as impressive. Despite is scale and grandeur, it enjoys constant use by its City congregation and, at times, services conducted there will fill it to capacity. One such event is the annual Service of the United Guilds of the City of London, an occasion that brings together the many Livery Companies and Guilds, lead by the Lord Mayor and the Civic Team.
With each Livery Company and Guild being represented by their respective Masters, Wardens and Clerks the spectacle was extraordinary with them all being attired in their gowns and badges of office. To this add The Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs, the Aldermen and other Civic officials in full regalia. It was not an occasion to be underdressed. Indeed, The Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Mullaly, observed during her Sermon that it was a rare thing to find herself outdazzled in the sartorial stakes.
Solemn ceremony, thought provoking readings and uplifting hymns came together in what was a beautifully crafted and executed Service, all spectacularly sewn together with the finest singing by the choir and organ pieces. I am happy to report that the Tobacco Pipe Makers were in good voice for their part.
Emerging from the Cathedral into bright and warm sunshine, the great mass of Livery Company and Guild folk dispersed to their many Halls and restaurants for a hearty lunch. For us, the destination was Stationers' Hall.