Inauguration of the new Commandery of the Bailiwick of Guernsey of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem
The beginning of an important new chapter for St John in the Bailiwick of Guernsey was marked on Sunday with an historic ceremony at St Stephen’s Church. The ceremony inaugurated the new Commandery of the Bailiwick of Guernsey of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem and dedicated the new Commandery symbols.
The ceremony was conducted in the presence of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO who is The Grand Prior of the Order of St John. The service that took place is steeped in history; with elements dating back to the 1800’s when the order of chivalry was formally established. After the arrival of The Duke of Gloucester, the ceremony started with a procession into the church by senior members of the order, dressed in ceremonial robes, carrying colourful banners and staffs.
The ceremony saw Captain Peter Voute CBE RN invested as the first Knight Commander of St John in the Bailiwick and Lieutenant Governor Air Marshal Peter Walker CB CBE, the Patron of the new Commandery, was invested as a Commander of the Order of St John. The vicar of St Stephen’s church, the Rev Philip Carrington MBE was invested as an Officer of the Order. The new Chaplain of the Commandery is the Very Reverend Canon Marc Trickey and The Lieutenant of the Commandery is Mr Nik Van Leuven QC. It was Mr Van Lueven’s original vision that a Commandery could be formed in the Bailiwick and his dream was brought to life today, in Stephen’s Church.
The ceremony was conducted by a Master of Ceremonies along with the Lord Prior of St John and the Prior of the Priory of England and the Islands. His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester took part in his role as The Grand Prior and represented Her Majesty The Queen, who is the Sovereign Head of the Order of St John. The Dean of Guernsey, the Bailiff, the Dame Commander of the Commandery of Jersey, trustees of the charity, along with key members of the St John family in the Bailiwick were all present in the congregation.
After the investiture, the new Commandery symbols – the Commandery Sword, Banner and Church Cross were dedicated and the new Knight Commander was installed.
Peter Voute CBE, the first Knight Commander in the Bailiwick commented: ‘Today’s ceremony is a historical moment in the proud history of St John in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The new Commandery becomes self-governing and places local assets under local control but remains dependent on the Priory of England and the Islands in a manner similar to the Commanderies of Jersey and the Isle of Man. However this Commandery has a unique place in the worldwide Order of St John in the number and range of services it offers to the community.’