The Bishop of London has joined the congregation of St Saviour, Warwick Avenue and the community of Little Venice for a special service and the blessing of the canal boats of the Paddington Basin as part of the annual ‘Canalway Cavalcade’.

The day began as the Bishop led a mass at St Saviour’s, which included a celebration of Orthodox Easter with the significant number of Orthodox Christians within the community, who also shared traditional Orthodox Easter treats afterwards.

Following the Mass, the Bishop processed with clergy from the church to the iron Horse Bridge where he blessed the waters of the canal, before boarding a boat to bless the boats within Paddington Basin. Deputy Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Jan Prendergast, was also present for the mass and blessing.

Fr Gary Bradley, Vicar of the Parish of Little Venice, said:

Visitors to the Little Venice Canalway Cavalcade on 1st May were delighted to encounter Bishop Richard accompanied by the congregations from Little Venice after he had celebrated Mass at St Saviour Warwick Avenue.”

The unique event was part of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) Canalway Cavalcade, a gathering organised by IWA volunteers that has been taking place at Little Venice since 1983. Other highlights of this year’s festival included a themed pageant of decorated boats and a series of boat handling competitions.

St Saviour, Warwick Avenue joined with St Mary-on-Paddington Green as the United Benefice of Little Venice in 2010. They are two churches in one parish, united by the waters of Regent’s Canal, running right through the heart of Little Venice. The churches and associated school, St Saviour’s, are at the heart of the community in the area and involved with a number of community activities including a rich programme of music and recitals.

More information about the parish and its programme of events can be found at

Photographs by Stephen Bruce Photography