Information for prospective members

Masters Blog

About the Lightmongers

The Worshipful Company of Lightmongers is 96th in order of precedence within the Livery
companies of the City of London. Although a comparatively modern Livery company, we maintain
the core traditions of a City of London Livery company and play an active role in the life of the City.

All our members are involved in the lighting industry through engineering, manufacture, lighting
design, electrical installation, distribution and promotion.

Livery Companies

City of London Livery Companies have their origins in the Medieval period of craft guilds. These
guilds controlled much of the work in the City such as the prices and wages paid, but were also
responsible for maintaining quality and provide training and welfare of their members and
apprentices. They also had obligations to support the Crown and Government of the day e.g.
through financing militia units.

Today there are 110 Livery Companies and nearly all are known as “Worshipful Company of….”.
They are still associated with their craft but today are primarily involved in promoting fellowship in
their trade e.g. holding social functions and supporting education, charities and affiliated
organisations linked to their trade. Some have their own Halls and those that don’t have the
opportunity of using the Halls of other Companies for their own social functions.

The Lightmongers Company

The main objects of the Lightmongers are:

  • Promote fellowship and networking amongst our members;
  • Invest in the future of the industry by encouraging the development of education and training programmes;
  • Provide support to the charities helping those who suffer from sensory impairment where good lighting can enhance quality of life;
  • Support, preserve and be part of the heritage of the City of London;
  • Maintain links with our affiliated organisations e.g. specialist schools, units of our Armed Forces and others.

Fellowship is a widely used word encompassing all sorts of things such as camaraderie, friendship,
community, networking and a feeling of belonging. In Livery Companies this is generally achieved
through meeting a broad range of like-minded individuals, in convivial surroundings.

The core values of our Livery Company are:

  • To foster the art and science of lighting by bringing together those practising in the many different skills involved and to promote goodwill in our industry;
  • To encourage invention and imagination in the use of light by the use of prizes, scholarships and other appropriate means;
  • To develop fellowship and good citizenship

The Lightmongers’ principal charitable efforts are directed towards those with sensory impairment,
in particular sight and hearing.

Our Company has a full programme of events, in addition to our Company Dinners and Receptions,
most of which raise funds for the benefit of our charities.

The activities include dinners with a speaker, educational lectures, visits to interesting places, golf
day, clay pigeon shoot and participation in the life of the City including the Lord Mayor’s Show.

Membership

Membership allows you to take a full part in the life of the City, including gaining the Freedom of
the City of London and ultimately even the right to stand for election to the highest offices of Sheriff
and Lord Mayor. It allows you to enjoy the unique and valued sense of fellowship for which the
Livery movement is renowned and to make many new and lasting friendships with those connected
to the same industry.

In Lightmongers there are two levels of membership with different entitlements attached to each,
which are explained later. The second level is full membership of Liveryman status, which enables
you to become further involved by joining a committee, being invited onto the Court and ultimately
becoming Master Lightmonger.

The Company holds three formal dinners each year, a members only black-tie Annual Livery Dinner,
a formal white-tie Annual Summer Banquet held at the resplendent Mansion House for both
members and their guests, and a black-tie Annual Members and Guests Dinner held at one of the
Livery Halls in the City.

These events include a variety of speakers covering both light hearted and serious topics and are
an excellent way to entertain guests, business or friends, with good food and wine in surroundings
unique to the City of London and entitles access to places for both members and their guests that
would otherwise be very limited.

Other annual events are the Junior Warden’s Reception, Senior Warden’s Reception and the
Master’s Weekend, plus a Company Golf Day and an Inter-Livery Clay Pigeon Shoot. Other
informal events are organised from time to time through the year.

As a Liveryman member of the Lightmongers you are also able to become more involved in the City
of London Livery movement e.g. apply for membership of the City Livery Club, and for sailing
enthusiasts the City Livery Yacht Club.

Being a Member

Becoming a member of a Livery Company should be seen as a life-long commitment and, along
with the many benefits, come obligations and responsibilities.

Members should have a genuine desire to give something back to society, mainly by offering
financial support to the Worshipful Company of Lightmongers Charitable Trust. They are also
expected to support the Company by attending its Annual Members Dinner as well as other events
during the year.

We hope that some members will become more actively involved in the work of the Company by
joining a Committee, joining the Court and even making their way through the Chair and becoming
Master Lightmonger.

Like many things in life, until you put something in you do not realise how much you can get
out of it!

Charity

Membership of the Company implies that you are willing to donate to and support the fundraising
activities of the Worshipful Company of Lightmongers Charitable Trust. There is no set amount or
minimum donation. It is sensible however to factor in an appropriate amount for your regular
donations according to your means when considering membership. Members have asked for an
indication of how much should be considered as a minimum however and the guidance would be
that a covenant in excess of £100 per year should be considered, increased for an individual’s own
personal ability to give to good charitable causes.

Our Charitable Trust makes gifts and donations on behalf of the Company, primarily to
organisations that relate specifically to our charitable objectives in the field of sensory impairment
and supporting City of London charities. The Company, through the Charitable Trust, also presents
over 20 Educational Awards as prizes or bursaries each year.

How to Join

Membership usually takes the form of three stages:

  • Admission as a Freeman member
  • Attaining Freedom of the City of London
  • Progression to full membership as a Liveryman

Admission as a Freeman

This is the first step to becoming a full member of the Company. As a prospective member you
will need to be sponsored to become a Freeman by two existing Liverymen of the Company who
you may already know. If you need support in identifying sponsors you should contact the Clerk.

There is an Application Form that you will need to complete. These are available on request from
the Clerk or downloadable from the Lightmongers website.

Once the forms have been received the Chairman of the Membership Committee will invite you
for an interview. Following the interview, if you and the Membership Committee both wish to
proceed, you will be asked to pay your Admission Fine and your membership will be proposed to
the next meeting of the Court. Should they approve, you will be invited to attend the next Court
meeting to be Admitted to the Freedom of the Company. You will be invited to join the Court for
the Court Dinner, which is at your own cost. It is a very nice evening and attending a Court Dinner
is only for Court members and those who are being admitted as Freemen and clothed as Liverymen.

Attaining the Freedom of the City of London

Having achieved Freedom of the Company you need to attain Freedom of the City of London. This
is done through the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall and, presuming your application is approved,
is a simple yet nice ceremony to which you can take a partner and a couple of guests. It is always
good to finish off such a prestigious occasion with lunch in one of the many nice City restaurants.

More details on how to do this will be provided after you have been admitted as a Freeman to
the Company.

Progression to full membership as a Liveryman

Once you have your Freedom of the Company and your Freedom of the City you are entitled to
progress to be Clothed in the Livery of the Worshipful Company of Lightmongers, thus becoming
a full member. To become a Liveryman you will need to let the Clerk know that you have achieved
Freedom of the City and you will then again be invited to a meeting of the Court to be Clothed in
the Livery.

Once a Liveryman you are then eligible to sit on Company committees and join the Court, and
entitled to vote at City elections for the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, should you so desire.

Charges

There are one-off costs, traditionally called ‘Fines’, and an annual membership fee called, for
historical reasons, ‘Quarterage’. (Quoted as at the time of writing)

On top of that there are the costs of attending the various functions and the aspect of supporting
the charitable work of the Company.

Fine (Includes VAT) – Admission £750

Attaining the Freedom of the City of London £100

Quarterage (no VAT applied)
Due 1 October each year Annual Subscription paid by Direct Debit

Freemen & Liverymen £340
(All Liverymen and those Freemen aged 40 and above – If admitted at the September & November Court full amount due – If admitted at the May Court £170 to cover the rest of the Quarterage year)

Retired £170
(A retired member is defined as being over 65 and retired from employment and has
paid full fees for a minimum of 10 years)

Young Freemen
Up to and including age 33 £ 85
Up to and including age 36 £170
Up to and including age 39 £255

Journeymen £ nil

Whilst membership of the Livery company is in the name of the member, many members are
sponsored by their company. It is expected that the individual will maintain their membership
should their company no longer sponsor them or they change employer.

Events

The cost of events vary and inevitably rise over time, but typically are currently:

  • Annual Summer Banquet at the Mansion House £130
  • Annual Members Dinner £95
  • Annual Members and Guests Dinner £110
  • Wardens Receptions/Dinner £50 to £100
  • Other events £25 to £40

Charity

As explained earlier part of membership is to be supportive of charitable activities of the
Lightmongers. As such a regular donation to the Lightmongers Charitable Trust is an obligation of
membership and although this should be reflective of your own individual ability to make a financial contribution, a minimum of £100 a year would be expected.

Affiliations

From early times the City of London and its Guilds, like other great European cities, had maintained a militia, in support of the Crown and Government. Livery Companies maintain that historical tradition through affiliations with our armed forces. Representatives of the services play a full part in the social and ceremonial occasions through being Honorary Members. The current military affiliations of the Lightmongers are:

Army – 579 Field Squadron (Volunteers) under the command of the regular Army 101
(City of London) Engineer Regiment for explosive ordinance disposal.

Navy – HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Haringey Sea Cadets

Royal Air Force – 606 (Chiltern) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire.
56 (Woolwich) Squadron Air Training Corps (Cadets).

The Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers

The Tallow Chandlers are one of the older Livery Companies and generously sponsored the
Lightmongers to become a new Livery Company in 1984. From that time the Lightmongers have
enjoyed the facilities of the Hall of the Tallow Chandlers. A small but wonderful Hall, the
Lightmongers Court meetings are held in the oldest remaining purpose built court room in the City, built in Tudor style in 1672. The Court Room includes the unusual feature of the bar, which is closed whilst the Court is in session. The Master sits on a high dais with the other Court members sitting around the room on the benches to the left and right of the Master.

Court dinners are held in the Tallow Chandlers banqueting Hall, as is usually the members Annual
Dinner.