Christ’s Hospital pupils to parade through London

Christ's Hospital.
Christ's Hospital.

All 860 pupils from Christ’s Hospital will march through the City of London on Friday September 21 to celebrate the school’s 460th anniversary.

Formerly located in the City of London (1552-1902), and one of the oldest and most famous educational establishments in the country, the school traditionally celebrates St Matthew’s Day each year with a ceremony. 

This is a tradition which gives the school the opportunity to return to its roots and be seen in London, reinforcing the school’s historic and current day connections with the capital.

Since Christ’s Hospital moved from London in 1902, a contingent of pupils is sent from Horsham each year to march through the streets for the St Matthew’s Day service. 

This year the entire school will attend a service at St Paul’s and then march to Guildhall. 

To celebrate this anniversary, Will Todd, who wrote the anthem for the Diamond Jubilee Service in St Paul’s for the Diamond Choir, has been commissioned by Christ’s Hospital to write an anthem for the Service on September 21.

This will be one of the highlights of the Service.

Will said: “This anthem is a setting for the David Adam prayer ‘O Lord. Open our eyes to see your presence’ and is a beautiful, celtic-inflected poem set in a simple but beautiful and lyrical style for choir and organ.”

Christ’s Hospital was founded 460 years ago 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 the children of London’s poor.  

Historically St Matthew’s Day was the day on which the governors of Christ’s Hospital were elected and a ceremony still takes place at the end of the service when the clerk of the Foundation presents the list of governors to the Lord Mayor who is vice president of Christ’s Hospital.

This year alderman Sir Robert Finch will be representing the Lord Mayor.

The documents are then placed for safe keeping in the archives of the City.

John Franklin, head master of Christ’s Hospital, said: “St Matthew’s Day is one of the many important traditions of this great school when we thank the City and school’s many governors for their generosity and continuing support.”