I am a freeman of the City of London and Second Warden of the Worshipful Company of Grocers. Subject to election, I am expecting to become Master of the Grocers’ Company in July 2022.
I am also a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants as my professional livery association.
Grocers’ Company engaged in the City and Civic
The Grocers’ Company is one of the ancient Guilds of the City of London. Today the Grocers play a significant role in the City’s civic life, including the election of the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs. The Grocers’ Charity supports a wide range of charitable activities including schools and education and a focus on the relief of poverty for youth, help for the disabled, medical. The Company counts three Common Councillors and one Alderman on the Court of Common Council.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Grocers’ Company played a leading role in the NHS Livery Kitchens Initiative providing thousands of free meals to doctors and nurses working through the worst of the heath crisis. In addition, the Grocers’ Charity supported many charities providing relief to many vulnerable groups affected by Covid during this time.
The Grocers’ affiliations include the Coldstream Guards the British Army’s oldest regular regiment and whose motto is appropriately Nulli Secundus (Second to None), HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and most recently to XI (F) Squadron, the oldest fighter squadron in the world – currently operating Typhoon FGR4 aircraft. Based at RAF Coningsby one of two quick reaction alert stations in the UK protecting our airspace.
History of the Grocers’ Company – Grossers to Grocers
The Grocers Company was founded in the 14th century by members of the Guild of Pepperers, which dates from 1180. The Company was responsible for maintaining standards for the purity of spices and for the setting of certain weights and measures. It was the weighing authority for the Port of London until 1666. Its members included London’s pharmacists, who separated in 1617 forming the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries.
The guild was known as the Company of Grossers from 1373 until 1376 when it was renamed the Company of Grocers of London. In 1428, two years after building its first hall in Old Jewry, the Company was granted a Royal Charter by King Henry VI of England.
One of the Great Twelve City Livery Companies, it ranks second in the order of precedence after the Mercers’ Company. It is said that the Grocers’ Company used to be first in the order, until Queen Elizabeth I, as Honorary Master of the Mercers’ Company, found herself in procession, after her coronation behind the Grocers’ camel which was emitting unfortunate smells; as a result, the Mercers were promoted.
Further details of the Grocer’s Company and The Grocers’ Charity can be found by clicking this link.
Chartered Accountants’ Company
The Chartered Accountants’ Livery Company (WCCAEW) exists to support the profession of accountancy in its leadership and service to society, industry, commerce and the financial sector.
Membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) is a requirement for joining the Company.
As a Livery Company, the WCCAEW supports the Lord Mayor of the City of London and the Corporation in maintaining and promoting London as the world’s leading international financial centre. The Company also supports the community and appropriate charitable causes.
The Company has four principal aims:
Business and professional: To promote the values and objectives of the profession, to nurture leadership and to influence the broader business debate;
Charitable: To give something back to society, to direct our efforts and funds to relevant sustainable causes and communities and to leverage the skills and experience of our Members;
City Civic: To contribute to the governance of the City of London Corporation, and to participate actively in the life of the City; and
Fellowship: To engage effectively with our Members, with the broader Livery movement and with our profession, whilst enjoying ourselves.