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Blessing of the River

5 months ago

On Sunday 13 January, after the Choral Eucharist, the congregation of Southwark Cathedral processed onto London Bridge, meeting their counterparts from St Magnus the Martyr in the City for the annual blessing of the River Thames. The ceremony, which has taken place on the Feast of the Baptism of Christ for a number of years, took place at the point on the Bridge which marks the boundary of Southwark and London Dioceses. This year the ceremony was filmed by ITN for use in a forthcoming documentary series about the River.

The ceremony started with a welcome to the assembled people from the Cardinal Pastor of St Magnus the Martyr, the Revd Philip Warner. Later on, the Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, said prayers for all those involved with the Thames and the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, Bishop at Lambeth and an Assistant Bishop in Southwark Diocese, led the Blessing of the River wearing a cope made by artist Sarah Wilson from recycled plastic collected from the Thames. During the blessing a cross is thrown into the river from the bridge as a sign of the two churches’ prayer and concern for the River, for those who work on it and for all those to whom it is important.

Images from the Blessing of the River can be found on Flickr at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm8gEoS4