Saturday 21 October 2023 was a very special day in the life of the Grand Priory of England & Wales. As we gathered, in the presence of the Grand Master Emeritus, HH the Duke of Seville, we were preparing not only for our Autumn National Investiture, but to say a formal farewell to our retiring Bailiff, HE the Chevalier Charles Holloway GCLJ, and to welcome his successor, Dr. David Woolf KCLJ (Commander of Wales) to his new position.
The ceremony took place at St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, London. At 11.00am, the Ecclesiastical Procession entered the Church followed by the Grand Prior's Procession.
The service was led by the Chaplain-General The Reverend Canon Brendan D. Clover SChLJ. The Preacher was The Reverend Canon Jeremy M Haselock GCLJ, Bailiff Emeritus who delivered the sermon. The Investing Officer was The Grand Prior of England and Wales The Most Honourable the Marquis of Lothian PC, GCLJ assisted by the Bailiff.
Music was provided by the Choir of St Paul's, Knightsbridge (Director of Music, Dr Joseph Fort). The conductor was Mr Rupert Gough and the organist was Mr James Orford. The choral music in the service included the Motets 'Sing Joyfully unto God' by William Byrd and 'Lord, for Thy Tender Mercy's Sake' by Richard Farrant.
The service was held by permission of the vicar, The Reverend Canon Alan Gyle SChLJ.
Postulants were invested and well deserved promotions and awards were presented.
An appreciation of the retiring Bailiff by the Grand Prior was followed by the Installation of the new Bailiff of the Grand Priory of England & Wales, Dr David A. Woolf KCLJ, who took the Oaths required. All present vowed to support him in his work to promote, grow and develop the Grand Priory, its aims and objectives in Faith, Hope and Charity.
The Investiture was followed by a reception and lunch at The Cavalry & Guards Club, Piccadilly, London.
A memorable day for the Grand Priory of England and Wales.
Atavis et Armis!