How we work

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 go to support The Spectacle Makers’ Charity (registered in England and Wales, no. 1186122).

All correspondence relating to the Company, the Court and its Committees should be addressed to the Clerk, Mrs Helen Perkins, clerk@spectaclemakers.com. The Clerk is, in effect, the Chief Executive Officer. The Clerk also maintains the Master’s engagements diary.

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