Chichester Cathedral was host to a special service for people in the legal profession last week.
The service took place on Friday morning and was organised by the high sheriff of West Sussex, David Tupper.
The important service follows a long tradition dating back to the Middle Ages when judges sitting at Assize Courts would take part in a procession to church to demonstrate they represented the power and authority of the Crown.
Part of the high sheriff’s duty was, and still remains, to protect the judges and to arrange these services.
The day featured two processions. The first included 37 civic leaders from across the county dressed in their ceremonial robes, and led by the mayor of Chichester, Tony French.
The second consisted of 28 people including judges who sit in Chichester, Worthing, Lewes and Brighton and Hove, who were accompanied by the high sheriffs of both West and East Sussex, the chief constable and the county fire officer and other representatives of the judiciary.
The processions started in Canon Lane, and were then led into South Street, round the Market Cross into West Street before continuing to the west door of the cathedral where the procession was greeted by the dean of Chichester Cathedral, Nicholas Frayling.
Pupils from Prebendal School were also part of the welcoming party and one pupil even had the chance to try on one of the judge’s wigs.
The processions then entered the church to a trumpet fanfare, while the service was attended by around 600 people including the bishops of Chichester and Horsham.
The service itself emphasises the importance of upholding the law for the wellbeing of communities throughout Sussex and also celebrates the work of all those administering justice, law and order in the county.
Hilary Tupper, wife of the high sheriff of West Sussex, said: “It was such a lovely day, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.
“The pupils from Prebendal School were very colourful in their uniforms, the whole occasion was absolutely wonderful and very historic as well.”
The service was led by the dean while the two lessons were read by the high sheriffs.
The retiring collection was in aid of the Chichester Cathedral Restoration and Development Trust, the Sussex Community Foundation, Petworth Cottage Nursing Home and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).