THE NATIONAL POLICE REQUIEM MASS - 2022
The 99th Solemn Requiem Mass took place on Tuesday 8 November 2022 at Westminster Cathedral, with the Principal Celebrant being The Rt. Rev. Bishop Alan Williams SM, Bishop of Brentwood.
Concelebrating were Fr Barry Lomax, the Guilds’ National Chaplain and Chaplain to Greater Manchester Police, Fr Liam Fox (Essex) and Fr Eugene Campbell (Avon and Somerset). The Revs Tony Hunt (Cheshire) and Robert Coyne (South Wales) were the assisting Deacons.
The choir was the Metropolitan Police Choir with music from Henry Purcell, Gabriel Faure and Lorenzo Perosi amongst others.
Many thanks to those who were able to attend and to those Guild members, serving and retired, who assisted in any way on the day. Attendance was slightly down on previous years unfortunately which was due to planned national rail strikes both the day before and day after the Mass. The strikes were then cancelled a few days before but this then led to seemingly more disruption with timetables being significantly revised including cancellations and tickets being almost impossible to book. In addition, contingents from both Essex and Kent were stuck on the day in and around the M25 due to the roads being blocked by ongoing protests.
However, those that were there came together to commemorate and pray for those that have gone before us, those Guild members and those who have died in service.
This year, we were delighted to include for the first time into the Order of Service two relatively small (in terms of organising the logistics) items but immensely significant in their own way, namely:
A PCSO’s bowler to represent Police Staff. Thanks to Guild member PCSO Julie McFadden (Essex Police) for suggesting this and this is something that will be included in future Requiems.
The National Police Roll of Honour which is normally seen in the National Police Memorial situated on The Mall at its junction with Horse Guards Road. This is a beautiful document detailing the names of all those who have died on duty and thanks must go to The Police Roll of Honour Trust for facilitating this.
Both were processed to the Sanctuary along with a male custodian helmet and a cap from PSNI, the latter having been brought over by PSNI colleagues who were in attendance again and it was great to see them.
The first reading was read by T/DAC Jane Connors of The Metropolitan Police. The second reading was read by Mr Andy Cooke, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue. The Bidding Prayers were read by Sgt Iain Enright of The Metropolitan Police.
The following day, the wreath was laid at The National Police Memorial by our National Chaplain (the video can be viewed via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages) following which the Guild prayer was recited and a period of silence was observed.
As had been the custom in previous years, we were unable this year to meet afterwards in the Cathedral Hall for some light refreshments and to be able to catch up with former colleagues and other Guild members. The Hall had actually been booked twelve months prior, along with the 2023 Requiem date, but we were then “double booked” with the Hall was being used for blood donor sessions.
Please note the date for next years Centenary Mass: -
Tuesday 7 November 2023
Plans for next years Mass have already commenced. We will be marking this special moment in the Guilds’ history and will release details in due course.