Judges service marks start of the legal year

Monday, 1st October 2018

Judges service marks start of the legal year

The annual Judges Service was held at Westminster Abbey on Monday 1st October 2018.

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 Gauke, for The Right Honourable The Lord 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 Ezekiel 33: 10-20, and the Lord Chief Justice read Hebrews 10: 11-24.

The Dean preached the sermon.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Precentor, and said by the Venerable Shelia Watson, Preacher of Lincoln’s Inn; the Reverend Michael Doe, Preacher of Gray’s Inn; the Reverend Robin Griffith-Jones, Master of the Temple; the Reverend Mark Hatcher, Reader of the Temple; and the Right Reverend John Sherrington, 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 Peter Holder, Sub-Organist.

Sermon given at the Service attended by the Judges, 2018

Order of Service for the Judges Service 2018 (PDF, 7MB)