Worshipful men l-r: Graham Ballinger, Gary Hopkins and Tim Statham.

WCoBM creates a bit of City magic

Published:  15 April, 2011

LONDON: The Worshipful Company of Builders' Merchants was among the many Livery Companies to attend the 69th Service of the United Guilds of the City of London.

Special guests were Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal and vice-admiral Timothy Laurence, representing their companies as masters of the Butchers' Company and the Company of Coachmakers & Coach Harness Makers, respectively.

Over 1000 people representing the 108 City Livery Companies were present. The service took place this month at St Paul's Cathedral with John Hall, dean of Westminster giving the sermon. Masters and Wardens were seen wearing their robes. WCoBM master Gary Hopkins, senior warden Graham Ballinger and clerk Tim Statham walked from the Company's office in College Hill to attend the service. Others who attended included past masters and liverymen of the WCoBM.

"The United Guilds service dates back to 1943 and is held for Livery Companies and Guilds of the City of London," master Gary Hopkins said. "The idea behind the service was to help lift the spirit of the City following the Blitz in World War II. 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," he added.

"The next three years will be eventful for the WCoBM. It celebrates its 50th anniversary this year there is anticipation that it will be granted a Royal Charter."

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