United Guilds Service
On Friday 31 March the company took part in the 75th United Guilds Service at St Pauls Cathedral. 21 members and guests of the company attended with the Master, Upper Warden and Clerk joining all other Livery Masters, Upper Bailiff and Wardens to wear full livery regalia of gowns and badges. The company is always seated in row 54 south, being our strict seating determined by order of precedence.
The first United Guilds Service was held on 25th March 1943, having been conceived as a means of lifting the spirits of the City following the Blitz during the Second World War. 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.
The preacher, The Rt. Rev. Christopher Chessun (Lord Bishop of Southwark), drew some uncomfortable parallels between the hypocrisy of his ecclesiastical forebears, and pomp of the City and Guilds. Reflecting on the Parable of the Good Samaritan he stuck a note of modest congratulation to the Guilds and Livery Companies spread out before him. He concluded in defiant style (having in mind the murderous attacks in Westminster the previous week) that neighbourliness and love would not be overcome by the world’s darkness.
After the service, we all retired to Founders’ Hall for an excellent lunch in the most welcoming company of the Founders’ Company.