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The 80th Service of the United Guilds of the City of London, St Paul’s Cathedral

A key date in the Livery Calendar is the United Guilds’ Service in St Paul’s Cathedral. I was pleased to attend on behalf of the Water Conservators with my Consort, Eileen, the Wardens and members and friends of the Company. The Livery were a magnificent sight of colour and history.

The day started early with a filling traditional breakfast provided by the Cooks and hosted by the Plaisterers in their hall which must have one of the best ceilings in London. Eileen observed that it was probably the best breakfast she has ever had.

Eileen, as Consort, was delighted to be seated under the dome in the Cathedral (and was wearing the required hat to be able to do so!), from where she could particularly appreciate the resonance of the magnificent organ.

We were welcomed to the Cathedral with Music for the Royal Fireworks by Handel followed by the Imperial March by Elgar.  An incredible trumpet fanfare from the back of the Cathedral announced the procession of the Great Twelve followed by the City of London officials.  The display of maces from the various City Wards was impressive!  Another fanfare announced the procession of the choir and cathedral personnel, followed by the Lord Mayor.

We were welcomed by the Dean of St Paul’s who led the Bidding Prayer and Collect.  The lessons from 1 Kings 6. 1-13 and 1 Corinthians 3. 9-15 focused on building well on sure foundations, reflecting on the secure foundations and values of the Livery.  This message was enforced by the Dean in his sermon.

The Blessing by the Bishop of London enforced the values of the Livery: go forth into the world in peace, be of good courage, hold fast to what is good, render to no one evil for evil, strengthen the fainthearted, support the weak, help the afflicted, honour all people, love and serve the Lord.

After the service and photos we walked to the Wax Chandlers’ Hall where we joined the Masters, members and guests of fellow Livery Companies for a good lunch provided by Cook and Butler. We were entertained by the Master Wax Chandler and the reply on behalf of the guests was given by the newly installed Master Poulter.

It was a memorable day in which we celebrated the achievements and contributions of the Livery to the City of London and to the country.  Building on secure foundations, with clear standards, that will last.

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