Thursday, 7 April 2011
The City Livery Companies come together once a year to commemorate their origins as religious as well as commercial fraternities at a service at St Paul's Cathedral known as the United Guilds' Service. The ceremony itself dates from the Second World War as described in an earlier post, and brings together the Masters, Prime Wardens, Bailiffs and members of the now 108 Livery Companies together with a representative of the Queen (this year the Princess Royal), the Church, represented by the Bishop of London, and the City Corporation in the shape of the Lord Mayor and his Sheriffs. The Dean of St Paul's leads the service and the sermon is given by a distinguished clergyman, this year the Dean of Westminster. On no other occasion do the Monarchy, the Church, and the commercial and charitable sides of the City come together in such a splendid display of pageantry. Click the heading for some photos of St Paul's, though not of the service itself.