On 18 July I had the privilege of attending the Election Day Service of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, with whom we have a long-standing close connection. This special service is held alternately at their guild church, All Hallows on the Wall, and our Church, where they returned this year – the first time since the Covid pandemic.
Led by the Beadle, the procession walked from Carpenters Hall round the corner to the Church. The Master and the Wardens wore their fur-lined robes and Tudor crowns (beautiful velvet hats), which they removed on entering the Church. Bertjan and I, together with Father Paul Gismondi, walked ahead of the procession, up the aisle to the front of the Church where the Liverymen and Freemen who make up the Company took their seats.
As is our particular tradition, I shook hands with Bertjan, who conducted the service and held an inspired address… on inspiration. He had printed copies of the design for the new stained-glass window and incorporated this into his very fitting address. There was a choir, the Carpenters’ Consort, who sang an anthem by William Byrd and ensured that the hymns rang out joyously accompanied by David’s wonderful playing on the organ. At the end of the service Bertjan sang his beautiful blessing “Dat je de weg mag gaan die je goed doet” and the service concluded with the National Anthem.
On their way out many complimented Bertjan on his address and his singing. The procession then returned to the Carpenters Hall for another meeting and David, Bertjan and I had a short time to relax before making our way to the Carpenters Hall, where Bertjan joined the Company for dinner. David, the choir and I had dinner in the Outmess, a delightful little room, with the wife of one of the Liverymen and Caroline, PA to the Clerk.
Dinner was delicious, accompanied by superb wines, and afterwards we went down to the Lobby and chatted with members of the Company. It was a most enjoyable evening and I reflected once again on how proud we can be of Bertjan and David; we are truly blessed to have such a wonderful minister and world-class organist.
Liesbeth Knook, voorzitter kerkeraad