United Guilds Service and Luncheon 11th March 2016

United Guilds Service followed by luncheon at Farmers' and Fletchers' Hall

Date: 11th March 2016

Venue: St Paul's Cathedral

United Guilds Service and Luncheon

On February 1st 1943, following the devastation wreaked on London during the Blitz, the Masters and Prime Wardens of the Great Twelve Livery Companies met at Goldsmiths Hall. During that meeting, amongst other things, it was decided to hold a service in St Pauls Cathedral for all the Livery Companies and Guilds of the City of London. The purpose was to help lift spirits in London’s darkest hour.

Seventy four years later the tradition of holding this service continues. The 2016 event was held on 11th March 2016. And a splendid affair it was. There can be few finer venues for a religious service than St Pauls – resplendent in the lukewarm sunshine that we all hope heralds a fine Spring - it was packed with Liverymen from throughout the London City Livery movement.

The Farmers, led by the Master, were well represented as usual, both in our official pew and in the ‘cheap seats’ and we all enjoyed a service that mixed pomp and ceremony with a simple, practical and uplifting sermon from The Right Reverend Richard Chartres, Bishop of London. Referencing the ‘other’ famous little red book – Rules for the Conduct of Life, the Bishop put forward his own simple plan for living a ‘better’ life.  Simple, thought provoking and timely.

Following the service it was but a short walk back to Three Cloth Street – providing confirmation, should anyone really need it, of the superbly central location of our Hall. - Here Master and Liverymen from the Farmers were joined for lunch by the Masters and Liverymen of the  Scientific Instrument Makers and the Glaziers and Liverymen and Senior Warden of the International Bankers Company. Following Tuesday's excellent Livery Lunch expectations for this lunch were high. We were not disappointed. Lunch was splendid. Positive comments from a number of our guests both about refurbishment of the Hall and the wines and the food, suggest that the reputation of our new Hall will continue to spread around the City.

This can only help the team marketing the Hall with their efforts to fill it as often and as profitably as possible. A task we all have a responsibility to assist by talking to as many people as we can about the Hall and its many virtues and benefits.