Random thoughts from Pencefn

…. an engineer, singer and photographer living in Scotland

Blessing of the River – 10 January 2016

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At the beginning of January every year, there is a Blessing of the River service at the centre of London Bridge where the parishes of St Saviour and St Magnus the Martyr, which is also dioceses of London and Southwark meet. The full title of the parish of St Saviour is The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overy, Southwark. St Magnus the Martyr was the second church to be destroyed by the Fire of London, and is located next to the Monument that was built to commemorate the starting location of the fire.

The Blessing of the River starts with processions from both churches onto London Bridge.

Southwark Cathedral procession heading to London Bridge

Southwark Cathedral procession heading to London Bridge
10 January 2016

The procession from St Magnus the Martyr on London Bridge

The procession from St Magnus the Martyr on London Bridge
10 January 2016

In the processions were the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres and the Bishop of Woolwich, Michael Ipgrave.

Bishops of Woolwich (right) and London (left), with the Dean of Southwark (centre).

Bishops of Woolwich (right) and London (left), with the Dean of Southwark (centre).
10 January 2016

There were prayers and readings led by the people and clergy from both sides of the river, including Philip Warner, the Cardinal Rector of St Magnus the Martyr, and Andrew Nunn, the Dean of Southwark. The gospel reading was carried our by Stephen Stavrou, the Succentor of Southwark.

The Bishops jointly blessed the River Thames, concluding with the dropping of a cross into the river.

The cross being dropped into the Thames

The cross being dropped into the Thames
10 January 2016

At the end of the service, the bishops sprinkled blessed water onto the people, during which they said a prayer. The Bishop of London did this in Greek.

Southwark Cathedral provided hospitality afterwards in the Garry Weston Library, including soup to warm the congregations up.

Author: Stewart

An instrumentation engineer who enjoys photography and singing. Working in the West of Scotland; a member of St Mary's Cathedral Glasgow and Southwark Cathedral; and a volunteer guard/signalman on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales.

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