Monday, 22 July 2013

The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor: St Paul's Cathedral Thursday 18 July

This Annual Service of Dedication takes place in the delightful Chapel of St Faith in the Cathedral Crypt. While the processional order itself almost fills the Chapel as it comprises the Knights Bachelor themselves, with the Knight President, Principal, Treasurer, Registrar and others.  As I attended last year, I was aware of the symbolic nature of the Spurs (made of oak and brass), the Sword of Chivalry (with a device on the scabbard to ensure that it can be part-drawn) and the swallow-tailed Pennons - all laid on the altar for the service. Knighthood is the oldest non-Royal title of honour : the first knights probably received their accolade in the tenth century. Founded in 1908 the Imperial Society celebrated its Centenary by the dedication of a new Knights' Chapel in St Paul's Cathedral. The chapel was created within a disused space in the Crypt and provides a beautiful place of worship within yards of the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren, Knight Bachelor and architect of the Cathedral.  The Bishop of London gave a superb sermon on the significance of anointing and enlightenment in the context of the Coronation in 1953 of Her Majesty the Queen. The Choir was magnificent, as one would expect, as was the generous hospitality shown afterwards! A very special occasion.

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