United Guilds Service 2015, 20 March 2015
Friday March 20th 2015 saw the 73rd Service of the United Guilds of the City of London, the annual gathering in St Paul's Cathedral of all the City livery companies that was started in 1943 to help lift the spirits of the City in recovering from the Blitz, and has carried on ever since.
The Bowyers took their due place in the Cathedral (38th in precedence), and it was also the periodic turn of the Bowyers' Master to take part in the main procession. The service is always a good one, and the sermon this year was given by the Rt Rev'd Nichols Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, who was for many years Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, where he was known for possessing that rare combination of profoundly charitable Christianity and excellent abilities as a manager.
After the service the Livery Companies all disperse to various lunches together in various halls, and this year the Bowyers broke new ground in accepting an invitation from the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers (104th) to join them at lunch in the Members' Dining Room in Guildhall, along with the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators (102nd). It was a pleasure for old and new companies to be able to get together, over a most enjoyable lunch in excellent company. Our photo shows the Master Bowyer, John Hayton, sitting between Roger North, the Master Water Conservator, and Malcolm Paice, the Master Hackney Carriage Driver, amid much good humour and much good conversation comparing notes on our respective different livery activities and charitable endeavours.