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London East and South East

Church does service on horseback

todaySeptember 17, 2017 18

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St. John’s Hyde Park celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Horseman’s Sunday Service.

This festive occasion gathers the horses that use Hyde Park, including horse guards, the police and carriages, as well as other horses from across the South East of England, for a traditional blessing.

The church clergy leads hymns, prayers and a short sermon all on horseback.

Vicar of St John’s, Rev Stephen Mason, told Premier the service has become an integral part of the church and is one of the things that makes it unique.

He told Premier: “People take part in all sorts of activities while they’re waiting usually about 40 minutes for a cavalcade of horses which have been coming along St. John’s for 50 years.”  


The tradition began in 1967 when local stable owner Ross Nye wanted to celebrate horse riding in central London.

According to the church, today there are still 100 horses stabled within a mile of Hyde Park.  It said over the past five decades 3,000 horses have taken part in the service.

Refreshments, jazz music, cake stall and many children’s activities were available before and after the service.

He added that the service isn’t just for people who can ride horses.

He said:“The ability to ride isn’t a compulsory skill for the incumbent here, but it certainly helps.”

A church in central London took its service out of the pews and onto horses on Sunday.

Written by: Miriam Emenike

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