CMCE Virtual Interactive Workshop 13 June:  Fearing the Unknown
Education Supper at Bakers' Hall 19 June:  AI's Role in Higher Education
Workshop at Plaisterers' Hall 25 June:  How should charities use AI?
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NL Sept 2023

WCoMC is a collegiate forward looking Modern City Livery Company; we maintain City traditions, share expertise and information between fellow members and give back to the community through our pro bono activities.

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Issue 85:  Sept 2023


Our Master's Voice

At the beginning of my Master’s year I set out some additional areas of strategic emphasis to sit alongside our core strategy of Philanthropy, Education and Fellowship. Here is my project assessment, self-marked and unaudited of course! 

  • Recognising and celebrating the voluntary work that so many of our members do, not just via Company ProBono activities, but also as trustees and volunteers at national and community levels – I have tried to highlight this in speeches, and in encouraging articles in the company newsletter. This has also been a key discussion topic in my 1-1 calls.
  • More publicity for our ProBono offering – this is a team effort by the pro-bono committee, we end the year with more in-flight projects and opportunities than at the start. We have seen more publicity through LinkedIn, and we have made some successful approaches to organisations such as the Sea Cadets, Prince's Trust International and Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which will go some way to replacing the stream of work from YBI which has now ended. 
  • Supporting the Charitable Fund in its new strategy - the new strategy is now well embedded by the trustees, with transforming young lives as a key feature.
  • Strengthening our CMCE relationship with Bayes Business School – worked on together with the Education Committee - the Education Supper was held in partnership with Bayes Business School, CMCE had Professor Daniel Beunza as a speaker, we admitted Dean André Spicer as an Honorary Freeman, and City University President Sir Anthony Finkelstein was guest speaker at my installation dinner. 
  • Rebuilding our relationships with the MCA and the IOC – this is work-in-progress. IOC Director Matthew Roberts will attend our Reception on 21 September. I am attending the MCA awards dinner as a guest of CEO Tamzen Isacsson in October and and she has accepted my invitation to come as my guest to our Charities Supper in January. Our profile has been raised in PwC, with meetings with the UK Managing Partner, and we have seen profiles created on the PwC alumni website for our pro-bono offering and for myself and IPM Steve Cant as alumni, focusing on what WCoMC is all about.
  • Opening up our military liaisons to be more intentional, so we can have a bigger impact and more members can be involved – as well as the Lord Mayor’s Show which many members attend alongside the Sea Cadets, I have attended Trafalgar Day with PM Alan Broomhead, an awards dinner for the cadets with Nanette Young, and Lisa Preuveneers and David Glassman joined me in a visit to the Sea Cadets unit in Feltham in July. I visited the Sea Cadets’ August training week in Pirbright, and their carol service last Christmas, and Lisa Preuveneers attended their coronation day parade in Greenwich.  Discussions are underway for multiple members to attend and participate in a training day on the river. Under Jim Foster’s leadership, our relation with RAF 600 Sqn has grown, with me presenting an award at our Charities Supper, and me attending a big parade at RAF Northolt in June. We also sent a Christmas hamper to a member of the squadron who was serving overseas at Christmas. Sadly trips in the back of a Tornado for Members are vetoed by the MoD.
  • Support our members in pan-livery initiatives – Bob Harris and others have led the charge on this, while I have been actively inviting Masters of other Livery Companies to our events – 15 Masters in total in my year.
  • 1-1 conversations for the Master with every member during the year – at time of writing, I have spoken to 156 and have 13 still to reach.
  • Access for all members and guests to event photos. – Patrick Chapman, supported by Mark Fox and Walter Gill have made great strides on this. (Ed: check out Highlights of some Past Events, on our website here.)

What this list does not do justice to is all the great work that our Committees and Officers do, in terms of driving our core strategy of Philanthropy, Education and Fellowship, keeping us well governed and solvent, well fed and watered.

Our profession does many great things, but perhaps saying “thank you” to colleagues is not one of our most ingrained habits. Hilary and I were reminded of this when out of the blue Satjit sent us a lovely email of appreciation. In turn, I really do appreciate the work of all Wardens, Officers, Clerks, Court Assistants, Committee Members and everyone else who keeps us moving onwards and upwards by organising and / or attending a myriad of wonderful activities, or getting on selflessly with the huge array of tasks that keep a livery organisation functioning. Thank You. For any things that have gone adrift I take responsibility, and for all the things that have gone well this year I owe many readers a big debt of gratitude. It has been a real privilege to serve as your Master for a year.

Finally for those of you who keep track of the Master’s programme of events, since Summer Court I have enjoyed the Faith Group Event at Lambeth Palace Library, brilliantly organised by PM Edward Sankey and CA John Watson; the Beerfest and Armed Forces parade at the Guildhall; a number of Sea Cadets and RAF 600 Sqn events, a Music Group outing to hear Bach at Wigmore Hall organised by Richard Stewart; our Summer Celebration; a CMCE event on Consulting Value; the FSG event and lunch at the Guildhall; Cart Marking as a guest of 3W Andrew Miles, an Actuaries dinner at Haberdashers' Hall; the reopening of St Andrews by the Wardrobe, and the Livery Halls Walk together with 4W Collette Stone. 

Further afield Hilary and I attended the Lord Mayor’s Livery Weekend in Glasgow, and the Sankeys, Johnsons, Geoff Booth and I attended the Brigantes Breakfast in Harrogate. 

Between the time of writing and the Installation of the new Master on 4 October (Save the date and book here), I will be attending our Election Court, Gonfalon Parade, Church Service at St James Garlickhythe, followed by the reception at Dyers' Hall where I will be admitting and clothing Sheriff Andrew Marsden and clothing Ranil Perera (the event is almost sold out but check the WCOMC website); CMCE events organised by CA Nick Bush and the CMCE team; the Sheep Drive with Chris and Peta Parkhouse, PM Ian Daniell, Michelle Wong, 4W Collette Stone, 3W Malcolm McCaig, our Treasurer Ron Cruickshank, Hilary and our daughter Anna; meetings of the Charitable Fund and Pro-Bono committee, a dinner at the Old Bailey where Sheriff Alistair King will be boxing (!), a Modern Livery Companies’ dinner organised by the Master Mariner at Butchers' Hall, the Sheriffs Ball with Hilary, Jailed and Bailed at the Old Bailey and Tower of London, and Common Hall at the Guildhall to elect the new Lord Mayor, likely to be our Honorary Liveryman Alderman Michael Mainelli. Keep 26 March 2024 free for a likely Mansion House dinner which 1W Kanan Barot is organising and Michael will be attending. 

Thank you for the many generous donations to my Jailed and Bailed appeal on behalf of the Red Cross, at time of writing I am now just £105 shy of my £1200 bail, but as things stand I will still be banged up so please keep the donations coming! I am sure the Red Cross won’t complain if the target is exceeded. The link is here.  Many thanks.  Chris.

Could You be our Almoner?

Following the recent and very sad passing of Sally Garratt, who was our Company Almoner for several years, the Company is seeking a new Almoner.   The role is honorary but practical. More details can be found on our Company website.  If you are interested in taking on this important role or would like further information, please contact our Clerk.

Summer Celebration 

We held our Summer Celebration at the Charterhouse on 4 July. Planned as a garden party, torrential rain on the night took us indoors to the atmospheric 16th century Norfolk Cloister, where football’s offside rule was invented in the days when the venue was the location of Charterhouse School (now in Surrey). Many of the 75 members and guests attending went on a guided tour of the campus – which is now an almshouse – to learn this and many other fascinating aspects of the building’s history. 

Congratulations to PM Denise Fellows who successfully abseiled down the side of the Lloyds Building earlier in the day for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, and made it to the event in one piece. (See Denise's report below.)

The action started with the admission ceremony for Linda Cairney. Many of the Masters of 10 other livery companies who came as guests (Chartered Secretaries, International Bankers, World Traders, Constructors, Arbitrators, Leathersellers, Marketors, Information Technologists, Arts Scholars and Weavers) mentioned to me their admiration for the style and content of our WCoMC admissions ceremonies. 

For the second year running we were entertained by young musicians from World Heart Beat, who provided a jazz quartet. A hog roast and wine from the Company cellar kept the conversations flowing.

The evening concluded with an auction of promises for our Charitable Fund, which raised over £5000. Many thanks to those who donated promises, those who made the bids, to Richard Stewart who was a wonderful auctioneer, and to our Learned Clerk Julie for arranging the auction and keeping a record of the proceedings.

A Very Special Coronation Event 

John Watson, Leader of the WCoMC Faith Group, reports: 

"Just over 50 members and guests gathered in the recently built Lambeth Palace Library (LPL) at 3.30 pm on Monday 12th June to visit the Coronation exhibition, to enjoy the splendid balcony views whilst enjoying a cream tea and English sparkling wine, and to hear a former Chaplain to the late Queen speak on the challenges facing our new monarch in being King and Supreme Governor of the Church of England in a multi-faith society.  It was a truly special event, starting with a visit to the Exhibition which showcased religious and ceremonial items that have been used in Royal Coronation ceremonies going back to the Middle Ages.  

We then all gathered in the Bancroft Room on the 8th floor on what was a very warm evening for a convivial chat, supported by cream tea and Chapel Down Classic Non-Vintage Brut wine, carefully selected for the occasion from the Company wine cellars by Patrick McHugh and supported by his excellent wine notes. Participants were able to enjoy the wonderful views across the Thames from the Bancroft Room balcony. 

Our Chaplain, Father Tim, called us together and introduced our speaker, the Revd Canon Jeremy Haselock, who gave us all a most interesting, informative and inspirational reflection on our chosen subject.   Father Jeremy reminded us of the uniqueness of the events of the past few months, the passing of our beloved Queen after more than 70 years on the throne and the coronation of King Charles III on 6th May. Whilst the Coronation was a uniquely Christian event, he reminded us of the late Queen’s initiative in 2012 to remind those in church leadership that “the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country”.  The service on 6th May (and indeed the service in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh on 5th July) clearly sought to honour this through the inclusion of supporting roles for not only church leaders outside the Anglican communion but also Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Slkh faith communities.  Finally, he reminded us of our King’s stated desire and motivation some 20 years ago to be a source of healing in our land, whether that be the environment, our communities or our different traditions.

Following a lively Q&A session, participants drifted away in the barmy evening air!

I am very grateful to Edward Sankey, who worked closely with me in planning this event and to several others who invited guests and friends. We were very pleased that Hon. Liveryman Alderman Alison Gowman, past Sheriff Adrian Waddingham, several members from other livery companies where Father Tim is Chaplain, a former speaker at a Faith Group event, Rev Emmanuel King, and a representative from Lambeth Palace, Charlotte Mulford, were amongst those able to join us.

My Most Interesting... Finishing Positively

The "My Most Interesting" series re-launched on 22 June in its new "in person" format, thanks to a talk by Nick Bush at World Heart Beat Music Academy. The event also broke new ground, with an open invitation to friends and family, plus the privilege to attend an evening concert at the Academy.

Nick spoke about the project to build the Academy’s new venue in Embassy Gardens, and the pro bono support he provided throughout. Nick's talk was cleverly structured like a piece of classical music with an overture, an intermezzo, and several movements. After the initial, successful application to Wandsworth Council for funding, the five year project was a sometimes tortuous journey through various challenges, such as drainage pipes, sound insulation and a plant room encroaching on the available space. Nick used his project management skills to Chair the Change Board, and his political skills to navigate the tensions which at times resembled the famous falling out seen at Handforth Parish Council. The new building was finally completed and opened in late 2022, and the Academy hosts an entertaining programme of musical events in addition to providing tuition to young people who would otherwise not be able to receive it.  

After Nick's talk, we were treated to a first half performance from a number of music students at the Academy, who displayed talents beyond what would be expected for children of that age.  The second half was special, with a virtuoso display of classical guitar music from the award winning artist, Jack Hancher.  All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable concert, giving proof that the project had finished on a positive note.

My Most Interesting ...Finished ! 

3W Malcolm McCaig reports; The My Most Interesting series of events was started during the COVID era by IPM Steve Cant. It provided a way for our Company members to stay connected, albeit over a video call, during a period when it was not possible to meet in person.  The content was based on case studies into some interesting projects, drawing on the experience of our members. By sharing lessons learned, we were reinforcing our philosophy of "change through wisdom".
As the COVID era came to a close, the programme continued to run and it retained its on line format.  It also morphed into "My Most Interesting .... Whatever" (MMIW), to allow a broader range of topics, and the management of the programme passed to me as Steve became Master.  

As time has gone on, the attendance has dropped considerably, due to the return of and increase in the number of "in person" events. This development has been making increased demands on everyone's time, and it has had a knock on effect on the attendance at MMIW events. Even with the pivot to be in-person the numbers were very disappointing.

After soul searching with the Events Team, and exploring possible alternatives, we have arrived at the conclusion that the programme has run its course and it is time to draw it to a close. We are therefore standing down all of the MMIW events that were planned for the next six months, and will not be scheduling any more.

In closing, I would like to thank all those who showed their willingness to volunteer. Perhaps there will be some other opportunity in the future for you to share with us your experiences.  

We always tried to share a "Wall of Fame" at each event,  recognising all those who had made the effort to contribute to the series.  Here, for the last time, is the final Wall."

Financial Services Group 

Steve Cant (our rep on the FSG) reports:
"The Financial Services Group of Livery Companies (FSG) was founded in 2006 and aims to support the Lord Mayor in his overseas visits, his meetings in the City with overseas delegations, and his role of promoting "the City" brand of UK financial and other business services. The FSG of Livery Companies is the largest such group in the Livery and meets formally four times a year to exchange views and organise a series of events.  With 13 Companies as full Members our turn to host such a meeting only comes around every three years or so and it was our turn on 19th July. 

As we were hosting, we were able to invite our Wardens and thereby enable them to gain a greater appreciation of the work of the FSG…  the good and the not so good…. The meeting was opened by Master Chris who gave a brief overview of our Company’s activities and aspirations. The meeting was noteworthy in that Professor Alderman Michael Mainelli was in attendance and he briefed those present about his “Connect to Prosper” agenda as prospective Lord Mayor. 

We presented ourselves well on the day and I believe raised our profile among the FSG.  Special thanks to our Clerk, Julie Fox, for organising the excellent lunch, where most Wardens were also present.   While writing I should add that Malcolm’s appearance at an FSG Breakfast briefing event in June was also good profile raising."

Cart Marking

There was an excellent attendance at the Carmen’s Cart Marking event on 19th July, with everyone enjoying some great weather (not quite as hot as in 2022).  It was a very enjoyable day!

As ever, there was a fabulous parade of commercial vehicles through the Guildhall Yard, from pushed carts to electric vehicles.  Our compères for the day were Derek Mathewson from Mathewson’s Auctions and Bangers and Cash fame and Actor and Liveryman Graham Cole, OBE, probably best known for playing Tony Stamp in The Bill for 25 years. The parade started with one of the cars from the Royal Mews and finished with donated vehicles being driven through at the start of their journey to Ukraine.

A very healthy contingent from the Management Consults were present, including the Master, First Warden and IPM.  (Ed:  2W Andy Miles is a Carman and was on the dais, sporting a very fetching bonnet – sorry no pictures!).  After the parade everyone adjourned to a very convivial lunch in the Guildhall.

The final word from Andy Miles:  “What a fantastic day ….I already have requests to attend next year’s event.”

A Hot Sunny Day in the City ... 

4W, Collette Stone reports: 
"With the temperature at 28 ºC, the Master, and I put on a toasty warm full length wool Livery gowns and headed off for a 9½ mile walk round the City’s Square Mile together with around 40 other Masters and Prime Wardens and their consorts on 4th September. We were representing the Management Consultants on the 17th Annual Livery Halls Walk, hosted by the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners, and under the calm and good-humoured guidance of their Liveryman Sean Canty.
23 companies were represented at this annual event which brings Company Masters together for a day enjoying the history and hospitality of the City’s Livery Halls.  The route took in forty Livery Halls, starting at the Apothecaries' Hall at 8am for breakfast.  Then it was off into the morning sunshine to visit the Carmen, the Stationers', the Chartered Architects' at Temple Bar, the Cutlers', Haberdashers' (quick tour of the garden), Butchers', Information Technologists', Founders', Farmers' and Fletchers' before reaching the cool of the Ironmongers' Hall for coffee and water.
Then off again to the Barber Surgeons', Salters', Brewers', Girdlers', Armourers' and Braziers', Grocers', Mercers', Saddlers', Goldsmiths', Wax Chandlers' and Plaisterers', before drifting happily out of the sun to lunch at the Pewterers' Hall. On this leg the walkers were treated to a brief tour of Girdlers' Hall to see the Bell Carpet, presented to the Company in 1634, and their oasis of a garden where a mulberry tree grows, said to come from a seedling presented to the Company by James 1. Thanks are due to the Saddlers' Hall, who saw the group coming and got out the iced water.
Having mercifully derobed for lunch, the walkers were soon coaxed back into their robes by Sean who runs a tight ship, and off everyone went into the afternoon with the heat bouncing off the pavement in the direction of Painter-Stainers', Vintners', Innholders', Dyers', Skinners', Tallow Chandlers', Merchant Taylors' and Drapers’ Halls. Happiness prevailed when the Furniture Makers' Hall came into view, and more iced water was provided in the shade of their hall. The last leg, encouraged by fairly sincere cries of ‘not long now’ from the guide, took the group to Carpenters', Coopers' (Christmas Carols anyone?), Leathersellers', Clothworkers', Bakers', Watermen and Lightermen, Fishmongers' and over London Bridge to Glaziers' Hall. Again, an unofficial stop, but the Leathersellers know a weakening group of Masters when they see one, and out came the iced water again, in the sumptuous, modern architect designed glass and leather surroundings of their 7th hall since 1444.
Throughout the day a photographer was on hand to record the group’s arrival at every hall. Getting said large group to organise themselves on Livery Hall steps, in height order, in the heat and facing front forty times was an interesting challenge, but sometimes they did all face the camera at the same time, … you get the idea…. 

The Lord Mayor's Appeal

PM Denise Fellows reports on her recent fundraising (and hair raising) exploits: 

"I've spent the last three years occasionally bemoaning the fact that, due to very obvious covid-related reasons, I missed out in my year as Master of the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants on an opportunity to abseil down the Lloyd's Building.  I've since learnt that the distance from the top of the abseiling platform to the ground level is approximately 65m.  That's 215 feet and a LOT higher than the boat masts I have been known to scale. Plus I'm three years closer to my dotage.  So I greeted a kind invitation from the current Master of the Company to belatedly take up the challenge this year, with a mixture of joy and horror:  I can fulfil my wish - joy! ... but it's 215 ft down to the ground - horror!

However, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to raise funds for The Lord Mayor's Appeal and its three charity partners National Numeracy, MQ Mental Health Research and The Duke of Edinburgh's Award.  In the end I made it safely to the ground, (with some grace) but it was raining, and the windows were slippy! Many, many thanks to everyone who sponsored me and very many thanks to family and friends who braved the weather to cheer me on, take photos and videos."

Hearty congratulations to Denise who raised £1,762 against her target of £1,000. 

Future Events 

Annual Church Service and Reception
Please join us for the Gonfalon walk, Annual Church Service and Reception on Thursday 21 September.

Then, following the service, we will be having a reception with canapés and wine from our cellar, at Dyers' Hall (just up the road at 10 Dowgate Hill). This is a rare opportunity to visit one of the smaller ancient livery halls. As a Company, we have not held an event there in recent memory.

Please come to the reception. It’s at a unique venue and will be a chance to catch up with friends after the summer break (especially if you missed the Summer Celebration at Charterhouse), and a chance to support Bob Garratt. It is also a great occasion to be present as we admit and then clothe Sheriff Andrew Marsden and Freeman Ranil Perera as liverymen. It will also be an opportunity to congratulate the newly elected officers of the Company and to thank those who are standing down from Court for their service to us.

Installation Dinner - 4th October 2023
Booking for this prestigeous event is now open here.

Get To Know - CA Ian White 

The “Get to Know…..” feature an opportunity to introduce the wider Membership to a particular member. My broad aim is to feature all Court Assistants at some point, and this time around we're featuring CA Ian White:

Ian began his career as a lawyer initially as a court advocate hacking around the courts of the Midland & Oxford and South Eastern Circuits.  On being asked by his bank manager as to whether he had thought about a role that paid, he decided to move in-house!  He spent most of his time working in the financial services sector but also in retail too ending up as the Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary for various companies.  Since 2015 he has worked as a consultant: his principal area of practice is Board Effectiveness Reviews, but he is also a qualified coach (and soon to qualify as a team coach with Meyler Campbell), CEDR Accredited Mediator, runs the Cranfield Non-Executive Director programme and does some consulting work too.  He is also the co-author of two very, very exciting books:  Your Role as General Counsel and Managing and Developing Your Career as an In-House Lawyer both published by Globe Law and Business (great stocking fillers for Christmas!).  

Since becoming a member of the Company Ian has been involved in two pro bono projects and he is also acting as a mentor to a charity CEO.  He has had an interest in the charity sector for some time having been a Trustee of two medium sized charities and Vice Chair of both (and acting Chair of one which he found extremely challenging – being Chair is definitely not to be underestimated!).  Ian became a member of Court in 2022.  He believes that the Company needs to grow and be better known (something shared by many members) but that it also needs to make better use of the Members it already has and exhibit a more inclusive culture.

And Finally ... Back in the day...

Thanks to the many Members who provided content for this very full Newsletter and to you, for reading this far.  More in November as we head into Christmas.  The next issue will include an In Memoriam piece on eAffiliate Member Penelope Tobin who passed away in June. 

Steve Cant

This newsletter is produced by the WCoMC Communications Group. Please let us know if you have any items to include in relation to any topics that come to mind! The opinions expressed in this newsletter represent those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Company.
​WCoMC is a Chartered Charitable Organisation (Privy Council Reference C877) and a Company Incorporated by Royal Charter (Company No. RC000819).