Vintners' Company 650th Birthday

Thursday 14th March 2013

Yesterday's Evansong at St Paul's Cathedral was attended by the Worshipful Company of Vintners and their guests on the occasion of the 650th anniversary of the Company's first Royal Charter. The guests included Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs and just about every Master or Prime Warden. Needless to say, the New Testament Lesson was the wedding at Cana and I couldn't help thinking that things might have turned out very differently for the Vintners had anyone other than Our Lord been able to turn water into wine.

The Bishop of London (himself an Honorary Vintner) preached persuasively in fovour of wine taken in moderation and told us that the only non-Baronial signatory to Magna Carta was a Vintner. The reception afterwards echoed to the customary Vintners' Five Cheers for the Master and, as we left, the television screens in the Grange St Paul's Hotel were announcing the election of a new Pope. When I had filled in my Gift Aid envelope earlier in the Cathedral, I had noticed that the date (13/3/13) might be one on which something might happen....