All rise for Court service – in the Minster!

Reading Minster recently played host to the official ceremony which opens the Crown Court Calendar, a tradition which dates back to the 17th Century.

Robes, frilled cuffs, white gloves and obligatory horsehair wigs were the regalia of the day as senior members of the Crown Court judiciary made their official procession into the Minster for the hour-long service.

A cornet fanfare courtesy of the Reading Central Salvation Army welcomed dignitaries and the Crown Court processional group, led by the High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire Mr Christopher Khoo. Mayoral and Council dignitaries from around the county were also in attendance, as was the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire The Hon Mrs Mary Bayliss and three of her official cadet escorts.

Leading the service The Reverend Will Stileman, Chaplain to the High Sheriff, addressed the congregation of almost 200 people and spoke of the need to pray for fortitude in those who seek to uphold law and order in the county. He then led the service with the Lord’s Prayer. The High Sheriff performed a Gospel reading from Mark 12:28-34 before the massed choristers from Eton College Chapel launched into a stunning rendition of the oratorio ‘Zadok The Priest’ by Handel. Prayers were also offered by The Reverend Stephen Pullin, the Priest in Charge at Reading Minster alongside his wife and Associate Priest, The Reverend Sarah Pullin. Hymns sung during the service were “We Cannot Measure How You Heal” and “Go Forth And Tell”, with the National Anthem, as always, bringing matters to a close. An organ voluntary Fugue in E Flat played at the recessional as everyone gathered outside at the end of the service.

Cadets of the office of the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire at their first officialengagement (left to right) Megan Fricker, Oliver Blackley and Rachel Heath.

Pictures: Lynda Bowyer

Last modified on Monday, 13 April 2015 07:47