The 77th Service of the United Guilds of the City of London

29th March 2019

The Origins of the United Guilds’ Service

At a meeting of the Masters and Prime Wardens of the Twelve Great Companies, held at Goldsmiths’ Hall, on 1st February 1943, it was decided to hold a service in St Paul’s Cathedral for the Livery Companies and Guilds of the City of London. The idea behind the service was to help lift the spirits of the City following the Blitz during the Second World War. Having regard to the religious origins of the Companies, Thursday 25th March 1943, Lady Day, was selected as the date for the Service, being the first day of the year according to the Julian Calendar. The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of London, Sir Samuel Joseph, attended along with the Sheriffs and Court of Aldermen and the Right Reverend The Lord bishop of London, Dr G. F. Fisher, preached the sermon. As far as records show, this was the first occasion on which all the Livery Companies and Guilds of the City combined to hold a religious service. Since then, it has become an annual event and remains one of the few occasions in the calendar at which the Livery Companies and the Guilds of the City can gather together as a whole.

Next year's service will be held on Friday 27th March 2020 at 11.15am