Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Monday 15th April 2013. 150th anniversary of the Ward of Cheap Club with a Service of Celebration at the Church of St Lawrence Jewry next Guildhall and Dedication of a new window

The Assistant Clerk and I walked the short distance from Plaisterers to the Church ‘next Guildhall’ with the Lord Mayor and Sheriff’s present. There has been a church on the present site since the twelfth century. The first church is thought to have been built in 1136 and was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. The church was one of many rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren, work beginning in 1670 and being completed in 1677. It was one of Wren's most expensive City Churches. During the Second World War, the church was extensively damaged on 29th December 1940 but not completely destroyed.  It was designated a Grade I listed building on 4th January 1950 and restored in 1957.  It is now the official Church of the Corporation of London and like most Wren Churches few walls are at right angles. However the "sumptuous barn" white interior with its gold-leaf and chandeliers is spectacular, the church being described by Sir John Betjeman as "very municipal, very splendid." 

Photo courtesy of PM John Fisher
Our Hon Liveryman, Adèle Thorpe, is the current President of the Ward of Cheap Club and read the lesson. Now celebrating its 150th year, we are rightfully proud of the considerable efforts made by Adèle to celebrate this milestone for the Club with a highly attractive new stained glass roundel window within the church. We were pleased that the Marketors’ Trust had contributed towards the cost and the window was duly dedicated by the Guild Vicar and the Archdeacon. It was a very special service with tributes from Alderman and Sheriff Jeffrey Evans, Patron of the Ward Club, as well as the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor and the Archdeacon of London, the Venerable David Meara.  The excellent choir sang Cantate Domino by G O Pitoni, the lovely Wesley Anthem Thou will keep him in Perfect Peace, and Mulet’s Tu es petra, accompanied by the magnificent Klais Organ built in 2001 by Johannes Klais Orgelbau of Bonn, Germany. With an impressive City presence at the service, the fellowship and conversation in the Church as champagne and canapés were served only emphasised the strong links that exist between all Livery Companies and the twenty-nine City churches. As a Friend of the City Churches, I highly recommend their monthly newsletter highlighting the many opportunities for worship and reflection that these wonderful respites of silence and spirituality in the Square Mile offer to all on a daily basis. 

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