The Worshipful Company of Bakers Election Service and Banquet – Monday 26th November 2018

A superb Election service and Banquet were held on Monday 26th November 2018 to mark the culmination of Master Stephen Kramer’s year in office, and the start of Master Paul Morrow’s year.
In a break from tradition, the Worshipful Company of Bakers held its Election service at Bevis Marks Synagogue. The oldest Synagogue in the country in continuous use, it was founded in 1701, and is home to the Sephardic Jewish community, originally from Spain and Portugal. 
Rabbi Shalom Morris and his team were warm and welcoming to the Bakers, many of whom had not been inside a Synagogue before. Lit by candlelight, the Grade I listed building looked magnificent and the choir sang some glorious hymns. Rabbi Morris gave an excellent address on the theme of bread in the Jewish faith, and the most magical moment of all was the opening of the Ark by four Liverymen of the Company. The Rev’d Sophia Acland, the Acting Chaplain to the Company, and Rabbi Tony Hammond, the outgoing Master’s Chaplain for the evening, also took part in the service.

Inside Bevis Marks Synagogue

Opening the Ark
After this magnificent experience the Bakers decamped to Mansion House for the Election Banquet. After the usual splendid Guard of Honour by the officers and team from the University of London Royal Navy Unit and the University of London Officer Training Corps, the guests were greeted by a receiving line comprising the Master and Wardens. The reception rooms at Mansion House are most impressive, with high ceilings, Old Master paintings lining the walls, and huge chandeliers. It makes for a suitably excellent start to the evening, lubricated by copious amounts of fine champagne! 

The Master and Wardens
Once through to the Egyptian Hall, guests unfamiliar with the place were astonished at the grand surroundings, and the place was almost at capacity with well over 300 guests filling the hall on a long top table and no less than 9 full length sprigs. 
Guests of honour included The Rt. Hon Lord Mayor, Peter Estlin, Alderman and Sheriff Vincent Keaveny, Sheriff Elizabeth Green, The Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton, The Master Innholder Revd Canon Bill Christianson and The Master Firefighter Andrew Mayes. 

Master, Wardens, Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and Rabbis

Overview of Egyptian Hall in Mansion House
In addition we welcomed commanding officers from some of our affiliated military units - University of London Royal Naval Unit, University of London Officer Training Corps, 45 Squadron RAF and City of London School CCF. 
As contact between the baking trade and The Worshipful Company of Bakers is such a feature we were proud to welcome Colin Lomax, President of the Craft Bakers Association, Ronnie Miles, President of the Scottish Bakers, Gerald Cunningham, President of the Irish Association of Master Bakers, Gordon Polson, Director of the Federation of Bakers, Liveryman Richard Hazeldine, Chairman of the British Society of Baking, Steven Fudge, Chairman of the British Confectioners Association, Liveryman Andrew Pollard, President of the ABIM, and Elaine Thomson, Course Director at the National Bakery School.
An excellent three course dinner was served, but for many, the Post Horn Gallop was the highlight of the evening. Gifts were exchanged between the Master and the Lord Mayor, and the ceremonial loaf of bread was handed over too. As well as the usual toasts, a variety of interesting speeches were made by the Master, the Lord Mayor, the Clerk, and the Master of the Rolls. In an informative and witty address, Sir Terence talked about his predecessors in the post including Thomas Cromwell and Lord Denning. 

The Loving Cup 
The evening drew to a close with the handing over of the badge of office from outgoing Master Stephen Kramer to incoming Master Paul Morrow. 

The outgoing Master investing incoming Master with badge of office

Incoming Master presenting outgoing Master with badge of office as Deputy Master
Proceedings at all stages were handled with aplomb by the Beadle to the Company, Neil Fletcher. And the huge amount of administration was dealt with by the outgoing Clerk, Alan Willis, Assistant Clerk Nem Miletic, and Sales and Administrative Assistant Martina Juhascikova. Present too was our incoming Clerk Lance Whitehouse, who was warmly welcomed by all. Our thanks go to all in the Bakers’ Hall staff team who worked so hard to pull this magnificent event together. 
And so another Election Banquet drew to a close. A packed Mansion House demonstrated the conviviality of The Worshipful Company of Bakers.
Assistant Andrew Beale
Thursday 6th December 2019