Judges Service Marks the Start of the Legal Year

Monday, 2nd October 2017

Judges Service Marks the Start of the Legal Year

The annual Judges Service took place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 2nd October 2017.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding:

At the beginning of the legal year, we gather in the presence of almighty God, who is the judge of all and who knows the secrets of our hearts, to renew our commitment to the service of the Crown and of all the people in the cause of justice.

We acknowledge our high calling to reflect the justice and mercy of God. We seek God’s strength and guidance that we might remain true to the highest legal traditions, subtle as we apply ourselves to the causes before us, and wise as we influence the development of the law.

We pray for the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, The Right Honourable David Lidington, for The Right Honourable Sir Ian Burnett, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and for all who make and administer the law, both in the United Kingdom and in the European Union, and in the other legal jurisdictions represented here today.

We ask God to sustain us in our duties, to grant us humility and sound judgement, to forgive our errors, and to inspire us in our service. Here on earth may we serve more faithfully that heavenly justice in which alone we can in the end trust.

The Lord Chancellor read Micah 6: 6-8, and the Lord Chief Justice read Matthew 25: 31-46.

The preacher was the Right Reverend Michael Doe, Preacher of Gray’s Inn.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Mark Birch, Minor Canon and Sacrist of Westminster, and said by the Reverend David Stanton, Canon in Residence; the Venerable Shelia Watson, Preacher of Lincoln’s Inn; the Reverend Mark Hatcher, Reader of the Temple; the Reverend Robin Griffith-Jones, Master of the Temple; and the Right Reverend Paul McAleenan, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster.

The service was sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey, directed by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of The Choristers. The organ was played by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist.

Order of Service for Judges Service 2017 (PDF, 291KB)

Sermon Given at The Judges Service 2017