On Tuesday 13th March the Tallow Chandlers marked the start of their celebrations for the 550th Anniversary of their first Royal Charter with a Service of Thanksgiving at the historic Temple Church.
The Service was led by Freeman The Reverend David Brown. Students of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama sang the premier performance of the Tallow Chandlers’ Anthem ‘Pater Caelestis’ composed by Marcus Barcham-Stevens, also a GSMD master of composition student. A most amusing and apposite sermon was delivered by the Reverend Canon Roger Royle.
A retiring collection raised just over £14,000 for the Tallow Chandlers’ Benevolent Fund. Afterwards the Master Tallow Chandler, Sir Christopher Pryke, Bt, led the congregation to Middle Temple Hall where he presided over a Banquet in the impressive surroundings of the Elizabethan hammer-beamed building.
The evening was essentially a family celebration, with no external guests. There were five members of the Company present who had also attended the 500th Anniversary Banquet held an Mansion House in 1962. The age range of those present was impressive, ranging from 98 year-old Honorary Assistant Werner Pick, the Company’s oldest active member, down to two month old Rory Robertson, who slept peacefully (suitably attired in bow-tie) in a corner of the Hall through fanfares and ceremony.