Bakers Company Joins City Churches in Great Fire Commemoration

The Great Fire of London started in the early hours of 2nd September 1666, in the bakery in Pudding Lane of Thomas Farynor, the King's baker and (allegedly) a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Bakers.

350 years later to the day the Master, Wardens and Liverymen of the Bakers Company were priveleged to play their part in one of the City of London’s major commemorative events – the City Churches Great Fire Service and Procession. 
Ben Ben McGettiganAt the invitation of the Revd Oliver Ross, Area Dean to the City of London, Ben McGettigan, the young composer commissioned by the Bakers Company to write the new ‘London Ablaze’ organ work for this Great Fire 350 year, played ‘London Ablaze’ on the magnificant organ of the Church of St Mary at Hill, close to Bakers Hall, to an audience of clergy, Livery and the public.  What a huge honour on such a special day.
The musicOur fully robed Master, Colin Reese QC, introduced the work and explained its origins. While doing so, the Master also announced that the Company has presented every Place of Worship in the City with a copy of the sheet music of ‘London Ablaze’ and a CD of the recording made when Ben played the work for the first time at the Company’s Church, All Hallows by the Tower, in February this year.
Following rousing applause for Ben’s superb work and performance, the Area Dean, assisted by the Dean of St Pauls and other City clergy, commenced the Service.

Pudding LaneFrom St Mary at Hill the Procession then moved to the site of Thomas Farynor’s bakery at the corner of Pudding Lane, where it stopped at the Bakers Company’s Plaque to the Great Fire for a hymn, a reading from the Diary of Samuel Pepys and a prayer.
The Company’s Plaque to the Great Fire was erected in 1986 by the then Master, John Copeman, in the presence of the Lord Mayor, Sir Allan Davis, and an equally large throng to celebrate 500 years since the granting of the Company’s Royal Charter in 1486 (pictured below).
1986The Procession progressed from the site of the bakery to the bottom of The Monument for a further hymn, reading and prayers. Then, gathering ever more numbers along the way, moved to the nearby Church of St Magnus the Martyr, the first church to be lost to the Fire. There, following a closing hymn, a reading and prayers, the proceedings closed.