Monday, 17 May 2010

"This country is so weird!" 11th May 2010

The Venerable Archdeacon, David Meara, with his Churchwardens and Mace-Bearer, pausing at the last stop while Beating the Bounds. This is an ancient ceremony at Rogationtide that has been revived in many parishes in recent years. Originally, in the middle ages, when written maps were almost unknown and precise parish boundaries could be uncertain, this annual perambulation was a way of impressing on people's minds the limits of the parish so that the information was passed on from one generation to another. We carry canes and beat the ground at the stopping points, crying, "Cursed be he who removeth his neighbour's landmark!"
As we stepped out along Fleet Street (Master and Junior Warden, Sally Muggeridge, in the picture above) I heard one American on his mobile phone saying (and remember this was the day following the formation of the new coalition government), "This country is so weird!"

This year the Marketors joined forces with the Castle Baynard Ward Club and representatives of the Turners' Company to Beat the Bounds of St Brides Church. Alderman Ian Luder (the Late Lord Mayor) accompanied us with his Beadle, both of them in full robes - a great treat.
Earlier we had attended our annual service of thanksgiving and rededication - a highlight of the Livery year - with Archdeacon Meara conducting the service and the outstanding choir of St Brides singing with great sensitivity and energy for us.
We returned from Beating the Bounds to supper and typical Marketors' buzzy fellowship at the St Bride Institute.
This is a three-part event that takes a lot of organising. Hearty thanks to Barbara Thomas, John Wheen, Diane Morris and all the others who were involved and helped in so many ways.

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