The Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants (WCoBM) was among the many Livery Companies to attend the 69th Service of the United Guilds of the City of London. The Service took place on the 1st April at St Paul’s Cathedral with The Very Reverend John Hall, Dean of Westminster giving the Sermon. Over 1,000 people representing the 108 City Livery Companies were present. Masters and Wardens were seen wearing their robes. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal and Vice-Admiral Timothy Laurence attended, representing their Companies as Masters – the Butchers’ Company and the Company of Coachmakers & Coach Harness Makers.

WCoBM Master Gary Hopkins, Senior Warden Graham Ballinger and The Clerk Tim Statham walked in their robes from the Company’s office in College Hill to attend the Service. Others who attended included Past Masters and Liverymen of the WCoBM. The Master was privileged this year to be part of the procession, along with 23 other Masters, who walked down the aisle preceded by a fanfare of trumpeters.

Master Gary Hopkins explains the history: “The United Guilds Service at St Paul’s Cathedral dates back to 1943 and is held for Livery Companies and Guilds of the City of London. The idea behind the service was to help lift the spirit of the City following the Blitz in the Second World War. Since then, it has become an annual event and remains one of the few occasions in the calendar at which Livery Companies and Guilds of the City can gather together as a whole.”