69 Festival Service of the Sons and Friends of the Clergy at St Paul's Cathedral

Tuesday 12th May 2015

The first service held in 1655 was the charity's founding event and there has been a Festival every year since. Over 80 robed Masters represented their Livery Companies. The Lord Mayor and the Bishop of London process in State accompanied by the Sheriffs. The preacher was the Dean of York, the Very Rev Vivienne Faull, who spoke about the implications of the Ascension which will be celebrated on Thursday. The Festival is known for its fine music and this was provided by the choirs of the cathedrals of St Paul's, Manchester and Portsmouth. Each choir sang individually and then joined for the Te Deum composed by William Walton for The Queen's Coronation in 1953. Magnificent!

The service was followed by dinner at Merchant Taylors' Hall, chaired by the Lord Mayor. I was delighted to share the company of the Master Musician, Kathleen Duncan and Sir David and Lady Brewer. Sir David is a Past Master of the Musicians' Company, a Past Lord Mayor and retires in two weeks time after 8 years as Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London. The toast to "The Sons and Friends of the Clergy" was proposed by Geoffrey Munn, a London Jeweller who appears regularly on the Antiques Road Show.