The sun shone for Christ’s Hospital’s annual visit to the City of London on Friday (22 September) when senior pupils and the Band celebrates St Matthew’s Day and almost five centuries of links with the City.
Following the Service at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, where the preacher was the Bishop of Lewes, over 400 pupils in Tudor uniform, led by the School’s Band and by the City of London Police, marched from the Church to Guildhall. At Guildhall, the pupils were presented with largesse by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Andrew Parmley. Largesse is a gift of money or act of kindness. The tradition of giving pupils largesse, a coin fresh from the Royal Mint, dates back to when the School was located in London.
For Simon Reid, this was his first St Matthew’s Day as Headmaster. He said: “I would like to thank all my staff, the City of London Corporation and the City of London Police for their support in the organisation of this magnificent annual event. The pupils take such pride in being part of this occasion that reminds them not only of the School’s London roots, but also of the important connections we have with the City.”
CH was founded in 1552, in the City, by King Edward VI and was established through the generosity of the Lord Mayor of the day and City benefactors. Originally set up to educate children of London’s poor, the School moved to Horsham in Sussex just over a century ago and continues its mission – to educate boarding pupils at reduced fees or for free.
One of the highlights in the calendar, historically, St Matthew’s Day was the day on which the Governors of CH were elected and a ceremony still takes place at the end of the Church Service, when the Chief Operating Officer/Clerk presents the list of current Governors to the Lord Mayor. The documents are then placed for safe keeping in the archives of the City of London Corporation.