Not only intellect but also character
The above service was held at the Liverpool Cathedral on Friday, the 6th October 2017, starting at 12 noon. This was the celebration of the founding of the Liverpool College (and of course the Liverpool Collegiate Institution) in 1840. The Governors and Principal of the Liverpool College (again) very kindly invited Members of the Council of the Collegiate Old Boys' Association to join them in the celebration. Six Members of the Council were able to accept their invitation. They were warmly welcomed and shown to their reserved seats four rows from the front of the congregation, a fine seat. Before the service Professor Ian Tracey, Organist Titulaire of Liverpool Cathedral played Fugue in Eb (St. Anne) by J.S. Bach and during which at 11.55am the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Liverpool, Cllr Malcolm Kennedy and Mrs Liliana Kennedy were escorted to their seats just in front of us. The Lord Mayor was no doubt thinking of his recent visit to the Cathedral when he was raising money for his Lord Mayors charity fund by abseiling down the Cathedral tower. Rather him than me. At 12.00 pm the congregation were then welcomed to the Cathedral.
We stood as the 80 plus members of the school choirs entered from the East and sat on either side of the aisle in the choir stalls. A fanfare was sounded on the organ and we sang the Hymn." Tell out my soul, the greatness of the Lord", during which the procession of those taking part in the Service passed down the main aisle and took their places.
Mr Philip Hammersley, Chaplain of Liverpool College welcomed all present and prayed that God would forgive all our sins in thought, word and deed, following which we stood to sing the School Song as ours in Latin, the first line being "Eia! Eia! Socii", a little different than our School Song but sang as ours most enthusiastically. The Principal, then read and gave the commendation of the Founders and Benefactors of the Liverpool Collegiate Institution from back in 1840 closing with the giving of thanks for the Founders and Benefactors and all others who by their generosity and their labours have furthered the well-being of the school and declaring that we all commit ourselves once more to the vision they established, again as usual a moving moment.
While the 30 plus members of the school orchestra played 'Flourish for Wind Band' by Ralph Vaughan Williams, pupils from the Preparatory School and Senior School presented the 9 emblems of their houses symbolically bringing the College before God for his blessing. The Principal led us in prayers for the past, present and future of the school to which those present suitably replied. The first reading, Deuteronomy Ch 6: v4-9 was then read by the Chairman of the Governing Body of Liverpool College, Mrs M Mason. We then stood to sing the Hymn, 'Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer', this was followed by the second reading from Mark Chl2v28-35 by Mrs A Haynes, Vice Principal of Liverpool College.
Then we sang the hymn *Seek ye first the kingdom of God". This was followed by a short sermon given by the Reverend, Phil Parker. His message was that one must have good goals in life but the important ones were to love God, love your neighbours and do good things in your life. The 80+ members of the senior choir sang the anthem, 'There's a wideness in God's mercy' accompanied by the organ. Words by F.M. Faber (1814-1863), Music by Maurice Bevan (1921- 2006). Prayers were led by the Chaplain and various members a Trustee of the Liverpool College Foundation, a Governor, Staff member, a Parent the Preparatory School Head Boy and Girl, an old Lerpoolian, an Old Huytonian, and the school head boy and girl. The Chaplain then led us in saying the Lord's Prayer. As we sang the final hymn 'For all the saints, who from their labours rest "during which the collection was taken for the work and ministry of this cathedral, members of the pre prep school joined the main service. As the chaplain chatted to them they presented their emblems of their houses, namely an Owl, Rabbit Hedgehog, and a Squirrel and he spoke to them about what they had been doing in their service in the Lady Chapel. They were understandingly a little overawed by the large number of people, the size of the building, but did very well. Their efforts earned them applause from the congregation.
The massed choirs then sang a Reflection, "Light beyond shadow joy beyond tears' Words by Paul Wigmore (1925 -2014) and music by John Dankworth (1927 - 2010). The school Chaplain led the Grace. This was followed by a fanfare and two verses of the National Anthem were sung to conclude a fine, moving service finishing just after 1.00pm. As the processions left the cathedral the organist played 'Toccata in G Dix Pieces)' Theodore Dubois.
The members of the council had been invited back to the College for soup, drinks and a buffet lunch in the Principals Office and to chat with friends at what is now becoming a very pleasant event. Again it was a fine day celebrating the founding of the Liverpool College and of course the Liverpool Collegiate Institution back in 1840.
Richard Thwaite (1943 - 1949)
© Liverpool Collegiate Old Boys' Association (2015)