Mrs Felicity Harding took up office as Master on 4 October 2017. Click here for her biography.
Click here for information on the Masters of the Company since 1629.
The Master and Wardens are elected every year at the Court's meeting in June, but do not assume office until "The first Wednesday after the Feast of St Michael the Archangel next" (usually the first Wednesday in October) when they take their Oath of Office during the Annual Service of Remembrance, Thanksgiving and Rededication held in St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street.
The Court of Assistants meets quarterly and receives reports from specialist committees and the two charities associated with the Company, the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers’ Charity and the WCSM Education Trust, as well as from the Master and Wardens and the Clerk.
There are currently four specialist Committees of the Court:
The Finance Committee
The Membership Committee
The Qualifications Committee
The Professorial Committee
An Investment Committee brings together representatives from the Company's Finance Committee and each of its associated charities.
The Spectacle Makers' Society is an independent entity but links with the activities of the Membership Committee and raises funds for the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers' Charity. Click here for information about the Society and here to find out more about the Charity and the WSCM Education Trust.
Mrs Helen Perkins MA (Oxon) FCIS FCSI was appointed as the 24th known Clerk to the Company in June 2015. Click here for a list of the previous Clerks to the Company.
The Clerk is at the centre of each Livery Company and is the first point of contact for most people with the Company. The duties of the Clerk vary within each Company. For the Spectacle Makers, the Clerk is in effect the Company's Chief Executive.
The Clerk's duties include the management of admissions to membership, day to day administration of the Company's office and compliance with legal and accounting requirements, organisation and minuting of Court and Committee meetings, relationships with other optical bodies and organisations, PR, administration of the two charities, event management and maintenance of all the current and past records. The Clerk is also the primary point of contact in delivering the Company's obligations as an Awarding Organisation, for the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers' nationally accredited examinations for optical technicians and support staff.
The Clerk provides advice on City protocol and accompanies the Master to many events, thus being able to provide continuity and give support to those who take office each year.
The Administrator reports to the Clerk and has responsibility for maintaining the systems and records to support the ongoing accreditation of the Company as an Awarding Organisation as well as day to day accounting and office management.
The Beadle was traditionally the "constable" of the Company, who would enforce the rules, keep discipline, collect fines and generally maintain order. Today's Beadle, Mr Peter Thompson, officiates at all formal Company functions, acting as toastmaster, organising processions and ensuring that the Company's ceremonial standards are maintained.
The London "home" of the Spectacle Makers is Apothecaries' Hall. Click here for more information.