Tuesday 16 July 2013

Solemn Vigil of Investiture 2013

Members gathered at the church of St Margaret Lothbury in the City of London.

The Grand Prior of Great Britain, His Excellency the Much Honoured Baron of Fetternear, MBE, GCLJ, GCMLJ, JP, welcomed members of the noble Order, Companions, their families and guests in London on the weekend of July 13th - 14th for the Annual Investiture of new members and the granting of promotions.

This year the Grand Priory was honoured to be joined by the Grand Master Emeritus, His Royal Highness Prince Charles-Philippe d’Orléans, Duc D’Anjou. 

On Friday we were in the heart of the City of London beside the Bank of England. The Vigil Service took place in the Church of St Margaret, Lothbury, built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire. 

The interior of the church of St Margaret of Antioch in Lothbury,
 the street that runs along the north side of the Bank of England. 

There has been a church here since the 12th Century. In later centuries the parish was augmented by the incorporation of seven adjacent parishes, whose churches were lost through the Great Fire, the Second World War and the expansion of City institutions. The parish is now officially that of ‘St Margaret Lothbury and St Stephen, Coleman Street, with St Christopher-le-Stocks, St Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange, St Olave Old Jewry, St Martin Pomeroy, St Mildred Poultry and St Mary Colechurch.’

The original church was rebuilt in 1440 at the expense of Robert Large, that year’s Lord Mayor, but destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. The current church designed by Sir Christopher Wren was completed in 1692. The tower by Robert Hooke was finished in 1700.

Among the noteworthy furnishings made for St Margaret’s are the high altar reredos and the pulpit.  Of the subsequent additions to the church the most splendid is the choir screen, one of only two in a Wren church, erected originally in the Church of All Hallows the Great, Thames St. in 1683-84 and moved to St Margaret’s in 1894 when that church was demolished. The pulpit sounding board is also from All Hallows.

 The Chaplain General addressing Postulants - including this year new members,
 new Esquires and transfers from other Green Cross Organisations.

 H.R.H. Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans, Duc d'Anjou, Grand Master Emeritus 
& the Grand Prior of Great Britain, H.E. the Much Honoured Baron of Fetternear.

Members gathering to process in.

 A rather serious-looking Chaplain General!

 The Chancellor addresses the Postulants.

Following the Vigil the Grand Prior hosted a Banquet in honour of the Prince in the Private Dining Room of the Mercer, a converted Bank, a short walk from the Church.