Coachlines - March 2024

29.03.24 Renter Warden David Barrett

A full house at the United Guilds Service 2024

Pictured above, from left: Assistant Lyn Litchfield, Junior Warden Mark Broadbent, The Clerk Commander Mark Leaning RN, The Master Bettine Evans, Senior Warden Stephen Fitz-Gerald, and Renter Warden David Barrett

The 80th annual United Guilds Service was held on Friday 15th March to a full house of Livery Company Masters, Wardens, Clerks and Liverymen with their partners. The Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett led the service, who gave a rather stirring sermon.

The blessing was given by the Bishop of London, the Rt Reverend and Rt Hon. Dame Sarah Mullaly DBE. The Lord Mayor, Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli also delivered a lesson.

The United Guilds Service originated in 1943 as a way to uplift the City following the blitz in WWII, and is traditionally held on Lady Day each year. The service is organised by the UGS Trustees based at Fishmongers’ Hall, and funded by donations from all Livery Companies, Companies without Livery, and Guilds. All Masters, Wardens and Clerks are required to wear their gowns, this makes for a fantastic gathering of spectacular colour, which holds the many tourists gathered outside the cathedral in awe and bewilderment.

Each Company is assigned a ‘company row’ of nine seats and protocol dictates that the Master is seated by the main aisle, accompanied by the Clerk, Wardens and Past Masters. Consorts have a special ticket to be seated under the dome.

Your Master, Wardens, Comms Committee Assistant, and Clerk were in attendance, and afterwards as with so many other companies, we repaired to Tallow Chandlers’ Hall for a splendid luncheon shared with numerous other companies.