19 Jun

Our only Court that is held mid-day in the World Traders’ busy calendar preceded our annual Thanksgiving service on Monday, 19 June this year at Trinity House. We welcomed two new freemen, Rob Cannavo and Dan Dodman, with two elevated to the livery Harry Lesser and Richard Young. We congratulate our latest members and look forward to sharing in the work of the World Traders together.

After the Court ceremony and congratulations were exchanged, we walked across the road to the main event. The 28th Service of Thanksgiving began at All Hallows by the Tower promptly at Mid-day. The church was resplendent with the sunlight dancing over the tapestries on the altar and lectern echoing the centuries old shipping theme and history of the building.

This year, under Master Michael Shapiro, we embraced a new concept of widening the spiritual worship to include a guest preacher, Rabbi David Mitchell, Co-Senior Rabbi West London Synagogue. The Rabbi adopted the theme of ‘This is also for the Best’ for his sermon, which explored the good that can be gained from a bee sting. Once again, The Square Mile Choral Scholars director of music, Andrew Earis, led our musical worship with David Cook, the excellent organist, supporting us all.

Readings were given by the Master and Freeman Sally Unwin OBE, from the Hebrew bible – the Book of Micah, and ‘on buying and selling’ from The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran, respectively. The members of the company stood to recite the dialogue, and proclamation of the Act of re-dedication of the livery, and its commitment to the promises made within the Freeman’s Oath. A solemn moment of resolution before the ceremony of thanksgiving continued. The service ended with a resounding rendition of the God Save the King!

The commonalities and shared philosophy of kindred goals were confirmed by the gracious way our Reverend Katherine Hedderly, Vicar All Hallows by the Tower, shared the ceremony. It was a lovely and thoughtful service, reminding us of the many things we should be grateful for in life, particularly the friendship that we all share as World Traders – commerce, and honest friendship with all.

We retired to Trinity House where a fabulous lunch was served honouring our guests and new members alike.

Lesley Batchelor