London: Blessing of Horses at St John's, Hyde Park

Vicar arriving - image St John's

Vicar arriving - image St John's

Source: St John's Hyde Park

St John’s Anglican Church in Hyde Park, central London, will celebrate the 50th Annual Horseman’s Sunday service and blessing of the horses this Sunday, 17th September at 12 noon.

The Festival Eucharist, comprising traditional hymns, prayers, reading and a short homily, is led by the St John’s clergy. They are all on horseback, as are some of the Westminster Council dignitaries who are in attendance. The service is followed by a cavalcade of all the participating horses. In recent years, the Horseman’s Sunday event has expanded to include produce and fund-raising stands, food and drink stalls, and a jazz band before and after the service itself.

Horseman’s Sunday was founded by local stable-owner Ross Nye, who wished to draw Londoners’ attention to the fact that in 1967 there were still so many working horses stabled in the very heart of the capital, including brewery drays and the 'Harrods' delivery horses, as well as the Household Cavalry and Mounted Police. Even today, there are more than 100 horses stabled within a mile of Hyde Park.

St John’s, the parish church and focus of the community, was the ideal place to hold the service with its large forecourt providing space for the assembled horses to gather. Over the past five decades, some 3000 horses from all over London and the Home Counties have attended the service and received a blessing.

“The annual Horseman’s Sunday service has become an integral part of our parish worship and is one of the things that makes St John’s a unique church,” says Reverend Stephen Mason, the Vicar. “The ability to ride isn’t a compulsory skill for the incumbent here, but it certainly helps!”

For more information visit St John's Church website:

Tags: St John’s, Hyde Park, Reverend Stephen Mason, horses, Hoseman's Sunday

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