For an number of years I have been a member of the Guild of Mercers’ Scholars.
I have served as both Honorary Treasurer and Communications Director, as well as been an ‘Apprentice Master’ to a number of amazing young people. Family commitments have meant that I have had to step back from closer involvement, but I continue to support this worthwhile organisation.
The Guild of Mercers’ Scholars is a Guild in the City of London, made up from alumni and associates of the Mercers’ Company’s cluster of schools, of which Abingdon School is one. You can find out more about the Guild here.
The objectives of the Guild of Mercers’ Scholars, set down in our Constitution, are as follows.
- To encourage former pupils of Mercers’ Foundation and Associated Schools and others to become Freemen and Liverymen: and to select, if possible, a Livery Company appropriate to their own trade or profession
- To uphold the ancient customs, ceremonies and traditions of the City of London
- To foster a sense of good citizenship, by service to the Guild, to one’s own Livery Company, and to the Corporation of the City of London
- To support in every possible way the ideals of good craftsmanship
- To do such things as shall be conducive to the weal of the Guild
The Guild is arranged along the lines of a Livery Company, and so is run by an elected Court, consisting of a Guild Master, Renter Warden, Junior Warden, an Honorary Clerk and Honorary Treasurer and additional Assistants as deemed necessary. The Court meets four times a year within 21 days of each quarter day, Lady Day, Mid Summer Day, Michaelmas Day and Christmas Day.
We have a wide range of social and cultural activities, besides month drinks and networking events, and of course, our annual Installation Dinner. This dinner is held in October in one of the grand Livery Halls of the City… it is quite an occasion.
The GMS Apprenticeship scheme offers members of the cluster schools the chance to become involved in the Guild and its affairs, to gain early insights into the life of the City and to take the first step towards becoming a full Guildman and Freeman of the City of London. The scheme follows a historic and formalised process, starting with an indenture ceremony at The Guildhall where Master, a current Guildman, and Apprentice are bound and is completed when the Apprentice turns twenty-one or completes their four years of servitude, whichever comes first.
The scheme offers Apprentices the opportunity to attend Guild functions including the sumptuous annual Installation Dinner, the Lord Mayor’s Show and social events specifically for Apprentices and younger Guildmen. It also offers the chance to build contacts through the broad spectrum of members involved in the City and elsewhere, as well as through fellow student and young professional peer groups. For those interested in pursuing a career in the City or in search of advice, the Apprenticeship scheme has the potential to present great opportunities for forward-thinking candidates and provide a valuable and dynamic introduction to the Square Mile.
The GMS Charitable Trust exists to support Indentured & Unindentured Apprentices and Guildmen of the Guild of Mercers’ Scholars in
- educational projects and work experience in the UK or abroad; and
- charitable activities, where the Apprentice/Member is actively engaged in fund-raising