The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers is governed by The Master and Wardens, assisted by the Court of Assistants.   

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 make their Declarations in public during the Annual Service of Remembrance, Thanksgiving and Re-dedication held in St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street.

The Court of Assistants is made up of the Deputy Master (ie the Immediate Past Master), Past Master Assistants, Senior Assistants and Assistants. There are 14 Assistants in total. The Court of Assistants meets four times each year in October, December, March and June. It receives reports from specialist committees, as well as from the Master and Wardens and the Clerk.  The Committees undertake much of the detailed work that sustains the Company's activities and presence in the City and the sector.

There are currently five specialist Committees:

  • The Finance Committee - providing oversight on financial and accounting matters
  • The Membership Committee - focused on the recruitment and retention of members and increasing awareness of the Company's work
  • The Qualifications Committee - supervises the operation and accreditation of the Company's qualifications (up to March 2021)
  • The Professorial Committee - made up entirely of UK professors, this Committee judges submissions for the Company's bronze medals, recommends the award of silver and gold research medals and shares understanding on developments in vision science and technology 
  • The Investment Committee - brings together representatives from the Company and its associated charities to monitor performance by the appointed professional investment managers and discuss strategies for identifying and managing risk. Investment decisions for the charities are made by their own Trustees.

The Spectacle Makers' Society is an independent entity, run by a Committee of Freemen and Liverymen and not governed by the Court of the Company or funded by it.  It maintains strong links with the Membership Committee and any surpluses arising from the social programme support the charities associated with the Company.

The Master

Mr Huntly Taylor FBDO  took up office as Master on Wednesday 2 October 2019. Click here for his biography.

The Wardens

The Upper Warden is Mr Nigel Haig-Brown FCA
The Renter Warden is Mr Ian Davies BSc, MCOptom, Dip.CL, FAAO
The Deputy Master

The Deputy Master, Mr John McGregor OBE is the Immediate Past Master and deputises for the Master when called upon to do so. 

Past Master Assistants

Mr Robert Chappell OBE
Professor John Marshall MBE
Mr Chris Hunt

Past Masters Dr Robert Chappell, Professor John Marshall MBE and Mr Chris Hunt are Past Master Assistants. There would not usually be more than 5 Past Masters on the Court.  Past Masters are elected onto the Court for a three year term, which may be renewed.

Senior Assistants

Mr Michael Harris is a Senior Assistant to the Court.

Court Assistants

Ms Karen Sparrow
Mr Paul Ursell
Dr Natalie Briggs
Mrs Rupal Lovell-Patel
Mr Marc Bennett
Ms Hayley Wainer
Mrs Fiona Anderson
Mrs Liz Shilling (Liz Tomlin)

The Clerk

Mrs Helen Perkins MA (Oxon) FCSI was appointed as the 24th known Clerk to the Company in June 2015. The Clerk is at the centre of the Livery Company and acts as its Chief Executive Officer. 

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 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 Clerk also currently has responsibility for delivering the Company's obligations as an accredited Awarding Organisation in respect of its qualifications.

The Administrator

The Company Beadle is Mr Peter Thompson.