Thursday 23 July, 2020
New members and Prime Warden take part in first ever virtual ceremonies
• Richard Fox becomes the first Prime Warden of the Company to take office virtually
• Five new members took part in the first ever virtual Freedom ceremony
• New members are admitted into the Company four times a year
• Members may go on to play an active role in the governance of the Company
• Time-honoured ceremonies serve a contemporary purpose by ensuring members help the Company contribute to national life
On July 22, new members were given the Freedom of the Goldsmiths’ Company in a centuries old ceremony, but not in the traditional way. For the first time in the Company’s long history, new members were admitted virtually, in response to the restrictions placed on physical events.
The new Prime Warden, Richard Fox, also recently made Company history by becoming the first to take office virtually – as he swapped badges and the office of Prime Warden with Dr Timothy Schroder, from Somerset to Croydon.
Becoming a member, via admission to the Freedom, is mostly achieved by either service as an apprentice or by redemption, which requires an application and election by a selection committee.
New members must all share the values of the Company, including a commitment to the trade and industry of goldsmiths, silversmiths and allied professions, support for the charitable endeavours of the Goldsmiths’ Company Charity and a willingness to actively contribute in Company life and activities.
The purpose of membership dates back to the origins of the Company where in a pre-welfare society, trade guilds like the Goldsmiths provided a safety net for those in need, supporting craftspeople and their communities.
While being an ancient tradition, being a Freeman today holds contemporary purpose, as the Goldsmiths’ Company continues to play an active role in contributing to national life.
Five people were given the Freedom of the Company:
Elizabeth Aurea Connolly
Kathryn Ruth Bishop
Prem Babu Goyal
New Freemen are usually accompanied to the Guildhall after the ceremony to make an application for the Freedom of the City of London. They will now make this application online, with the City of London Corporation also opting for virtual ceremonies.
If you would like more information on becoming a member please send an enquiry here.