Worshipful Company of Butchers elects new Master at Common Hall
The 2023 Common Hall ceremony of the Worshipful Company of Butchers (WCB), held at Butchers Hall, London today [14th September] has elected Chris Wood as its new Master for the coming year.
As part of the ceremony, a new Court made up of Wardens and Assistants were also elected by the Livery.
Held on the second Thursday of September, Common Hall is an annual event with a history stretching back many hundreds of years. All 21 members of the WCB Court are required to attend the event where the new Master is put forward for election.
The Common Hall ceremony follows a church service at the nearby St Bartholomew The Great, where a number of the Company’s artefacts are displayed. As part of the ceremony the outgoing Master and the Court process from Butchers Hall to the church and then return for the election. A recent tradition is the taking of wine at Founders’ Hall by the Court as they process to church and a similar imbibing at the Hand and Shears public house on the return journey.
The election process and confirmation of all the appointments is followed by a convivial lunch attended by family and guests of Livery members.
The Clerk, Major General Jeff Mason, stated that “as a 1000 year old Company it is important to remember the past through our traditions as well as looking forward in supporting the meat industry in as many ways as we can.”
The new Master
Chris Wood is well-known name within the British and Irish meat industry, being the former managing director of G Wood & Sons before the business was bought by Northern Irish processing group Dunbia in 2013. Following the acquisition, Wood now works in procurement at Dunbia’s Mansfield division.
Mason said that Wood is “incredibly proud” to have been elected to the appointment of Master.” He added :”Whilst the weight of responsibility is great, [he] is looking forward to supporting the Industry, providing fellowship to Liverymen and ensuring that engaging with the City of London are key tenets in his year.”
This year’s ceremony also marks the end of Andrew Parker’s term as Master, who is the managing director of W & J Parker Holdings Ltd. The Livery under Parker’s leadership won the award for Best Trade Organisation at the Meat Management Industry Awards 2023, announced on Tuesday 12th September, marking a positive end to his tenure.