Common Hall 2022 elects Past Master Andrew Parker as Master
Published on: 9 September 2022
This year’s Common Hall began with its traditional service at the magnificent Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great attended by Liverymen and guests.
One of the most important occasions for any Livery Company saw Past Master Andrew Parker elected as Master for a second time, as his 2020 year was a ‘virtual’ event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The day began with outgoing Master, Margaret Boanas, and members of The Court walking the short journey from Butchers’ Hall to their priory church, St Bartholomew the Great. Their entry was heralded by a traditional trumpet fanfare and the voices of the fabulous waiting choir.
The Reverend Marcus Walker, Rector of the church, conducted a traditional service with the most fitting of themes, diversity and equality, accompanied by well-loved hymns, holding special meaning for Margaret’s family and many others, including Lord and Father of Mankind, O Lord my God When I am in Awesome Wonder and the wonderful Jerusalem.
Afterwards The Court and attending Liverymen returned to Butchers’ Hall whilst the Reverend Walker conducted a fascinating tour of the church for guests, with the added bonus of them being able to see how it is being cleverly, but temporarily, transformed as a back drop for a film set on the small screen later in the year. Tea and coffee were kindly served for all to enjoy at Founders' Hall, when everybody had a turn at ringing Grayson Perry's Covid Bell , which is in situ for a special exhibition during the upcoming Open House Weekend in the City.
The Clerk, Major General Jeff Mason MBE provided a short update on the ongoing difficult financial affairs of The Company, which continue with the challenges facing all of us at present. These include the ongoing fallout of the pandemic, the current energy prices and the overall cost of living crisis.
Normal proceedings then elected our new Master, Past Master Andrew Parker and The Court, which included two new assistants, Liverymen William Thurston and Peter David Wright.
In his acceptance speech, the Master thanked all, including his wife Simone: “For your terrific support in allowing me to fully represent our Livery across the City of London and beyond.” His chosen charity for the coming year will be Dementia UK.
He also appealed to all Liverymen to introduce others to the Livery to continue to swell our numbers and allow new people to benefit from the excellent opportunities afforded to us.
As outgoing Master, Margaret was the first to congratulate Andrew and in an emotional, outgoing speech she too acknowledged the fantastic support of her Consort, Tony, family, friends and fellow Liverymen:
“I am so proud to have been the Master of the Butchers’ Company. It’s been challenging but also a wonderful exhilarating rollercoaster of a ride.”
During her year Margaret travelled extensively and her Charity Ball at Guildhall raised a tremendous £67,000 enabling her to present monies to both our Hall and her year’s chosen charity, Farms for City Children.
Following the formalities, a drinks reception was followed by a lunch of Uruguayan Beef Sirloin, which had been kindly donated by Liveryman George Abrahams.
It was great to see the event well attended and the clink of glasses, laughter and conversation filling the Great Hall again – an indication of the ongoing fellowship, friendship and hospitality the Butchers are famous for.