Harvest in the City

Sunday morning, if you can get to the City, there’s a special service going on at St Mary-at-Hill. It’s the Fishmongers’ Harvest Festival. Fishmongers decorate the vestibule of the church with nets, floats and fresh seafood.

In their white coats and straw boaters, they file into the pews to give thanks for the fruits of the oceans.

If you are lucky, you may meet the wonderful Charlie Caisey, a retired President of The National Federation of Fishmongers, now in his eighties, and as lovely a man as you could ever hope to come across. That’s Charlie on the left.

That’s my friend’s son in the photo. He was one of the only children present, and the fishmongers all wanted photos of him with their display.
He’s an undergraduate now, which means these photos were taken an impossible number of years ago.
After the service, the seafood goes to a retirement home. Usually the next week, the Bakers have their Harvest Festival in the same church, and the smell of fresh fish is replaced by that of fresh bread.

When I lead one of my City walks, Roaming By the River, we go by the church, so if you can”t make it on Sunday, join me the next time it is on the programme.

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