And poor Eliot suffered the indignity of having to wear it ... 'wear it' is rather a misnomer ... it was all I could do to take two shots of him with it, and one of them was me holding onto it to stop it from being tossed off.
A development in shape into 'stovepipe' is associated with Abraham Lincoln. Rumour has it that he kept important letters inside his hat!
Nowadays the top hat is usually worn only with morning dress or as a fashion statement ... or used as an accessory in stage magic tricks!
I'd brought a camera to church this evening but there never seemed to be a good moment to begin to take pictures. It was the annual service held during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and all the churches in south Belfast were well represented. It was a simple celebration of our shared faith followed by a welcome cup of tea or coffee. While the words of the hymns were contemporary the tunes were familiar in all our traditions so the singing was good. Lots of the clergy robed and processed together ... a grand evening.
Eternal Giver of love and power,
your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world
to preach the gospel of his kingdom.
Confirm us in this mission,
and help us to live the good news we proclaim;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer