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James Wood Supper and Common Hall, 11th July 2013

The Master and Wardens with wreath.

On Thursday evening 11 July 2013, the Bowyers' Company held a ceremony in memory of its 17th century benefactor, James Wood, which was followed by Company Common Hall and a most convivial supper for the 25 Liverymen and Freemen present.

The Bowyers' Window (detail).

The brief memorial ceremony was conducted by the Chaplain, Revd Dr Alan MacCormack, in the Bowyers' home parish church of St Botolph Bishopsgate, where the Company had donated a 'Bowyers' Window' in 1997 in the aftermath of the St Mary Axe and Bishopsgate bombings. Alan took us us on an unusual and thoughtful three-stage pilgrimage round the church interior, culminating in the laying of a wreath under the Bowyers' Window in memory of James Wood by the Master, Michael Wren.

We then adjourned to the quite atmospheric brick-vaulted cellar of the White Hart pub next door in Bishopsgate, for the Company's biennial Common Hall. This comprised brief presentations by the Master and each of the main Committees - Peter Harrow for Finance, Tony Kench for Membership, Mark Elliottt for Charity, Andrew Barnsdale for Archery, Simon Leach for Muniments and Tim West for Communications - and the opportunity for members of the Company to ask any questions or raise any issues. There weren't many.

The Company at supper.

A word followed from Past Master Clive Arding on the Company's charitable support for the Central Foundation School in the East End, and then members were ready to proceed to the three-course supper part of the evening, what Bowyers do best. The pub food was much enjoyed, as were the accompanying wines, and warm thanks expressed to Tim West for his organisation. It had been a good format for the occasion, and a good model for the future.

Tony Kench

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