United Guilds' Service 2024

21 March 2024

The 80th Service of the United Guilds of the City of London was held at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday 15 March.

The United Guilds’ Service was established in the midst of the Second World War, in 1943, when the Masters and Wardens of the Great Twelve Livery Companies agreed to hold a service in St Paul’s Cathedral for the Livery Companies and Guilds of the City of London to help lift their spirits following the Blitz. As far as records show, this was the first occasion on which all of the City’s Livery Companies and Guilds combined to hold a religious service, and it remains one of the few occasions annually at which they can gather together as a whole.

With Masters, Wardens, Beadles and other officials in their robes and badges of office, the service is a colourful and joyful occasion. It gives thanks for the fellowship and work of the livery companies; the traditions that they keep alive, as well as the skills and talents that they support and promote, and the charitable work that they carry out. Following  the Service, the Master and Wardens were pleased to welcome Liverymen and guests from the Worshipful Companies of Coopers and Distillers for lunch at Brewers’ Hall. 

Now, over 80 years on from that first ever service, the founders would be pleased to see that the spirit of friendship and solidarity which they sought to engender is as strong as ever.