Membership Application Process
- Application for the Freedom and the Livery must be made via the Clerk’s Office on the appropriate application form. These are available from the Become a Member Section of the website (www.bakers.co.uk) or from the Clerk’s Office.
- Two Liverymen, one of whom must be a full member of Court, must sign the application form.
- The completed form is then to be deposited with the Clerk together with the non-returnable deposit of £100.
- The Candidate, together with the sponsors, will be invited to attend Bakers’ Hall on a committee day to meet the Membership Committee over an informal finger buffet lunch. Whilst it is friendlier for the sponsors to be in attendance to introduce their candidate, it is not essential. Dress for this occasion is normally lounge suit or equivalent for ladies.
- The Membership Committee will consider the application and make a recommendation to the Court for acceptance or otherwise.
- Candidates who have served a Notional Apprenticeship are entitled to the Freedom of the Company by right.
- If the application is approved, the candidate will be asked to provide a cheque to cover the balance of the Freedom Fine and a copy of their FULL birth certificate. Naturalisation papers, changes of name (marriage certificates etc.) are also required if applicable. Receipt of documentation should be prior to the Freedom ceremony and will be returned at that time.
- Those having paid the Freedom Fine will be invited to Bakers’ Hall for the short Freedom ceremony. These are normally held in the late afternoon prior to a Court meeting subject to other business, but there may be other opportunities from time to time to suit the Master and individual diaries. A small number of personal guests, normally family, are most welcome if the candidate wishes. Candidates are invited to join the Master and other members of the Company for light refreshments after the ceremony. Dress for this occasion is normally lounge suit or equivalent for ladies.
- At the Freedom Ceremony the Candidate will be presented with a copy of ‘1666 and all that’ (a history of the Bakers’ Company) and a Company Freedom Certificate.
- Following the completion of the Freedom Ceremony, application must be made to the Chamberlain’s Court at the Guildhall for the Freedom of the City of London. Patrimony and Servitude Candidates are entitled to receive the City Freedom by right. Candidates by Redemption are required to apply through the Chamberlain’s Court to the Court of Aldermen for consideration of this honour. The Fine payable in all cases is currently (October 2015) £100. Initial contact by telephone to make an appointment to attend in person is recommended. The Freedom is granted at a private ceremony in the Chamberlain’s Court to which it is possible to invite guests by arrangement. Dress for this occasion is normally smart lounge suit or equivalent for ladies.
- It is essential to advise the Clerk’s Office as soon as possible once the City Freedom has been received as the Candidate’s name can then go forward to the Court for election to the Livery.
- Once election to the Livery has been confirmed by the Court and the Livery Admission Fine is paid, the Freeman is invited to attend at the end of a Court meeting when they are Clothed in the Livery at a short ceremony. At that ceremony it is expected that all candidates make a contribution to the ‘Poor Fund’ of the Company and it is customary to make a donation of a minimum of £20.00 to the Poor Box when offered during the ceremony. The Fine on admittance should be received prior to that date together with an apportionment of Quarterage.
- One Candidate will be selected to propose a vote of thanks to the sponsors and the Court for admittance. The words for this will be issued to the selected Candidate by the Clerk’s Office.
- Candidates clothed as new Liverymen are entitled to dinner or lunch following the Court at the Company’s expense for that one occasion only. Dress for these occasions is Dinner Jacket/black tie for dinners, lounge suit for lunch and equivalent for ladies (see dress code article), except at the Election Banquet where the preferred dress is Evening Dress (White Tie), although Dinner Jacket/black tie is acceptable, or equivalent for ladies.
- Each year the Court offers the Freedom of the Company to the top student at the National Bakery School as a prize. Advancement in the Company following that Freedom is entirely at the individual’s discretion and cost.
- From time to time the Court will consider applications from the Membership Committee to grant Honorary Freedoms and in very rare circumstances, Honorary Livery status. These honours are intended to reward those who have given exceptional service or have played a special role either in the Baking Industry, the City of London or in the wider community. Nominations for such honours should be made in the first instance in writing to the Chairman of the Membership Committee, setting out the reasons for the nomination and a brief CV of the Candidate. The request for consideration should be signed by at least two Liverymen as for a normal application.
- Once admitted as a Liveryman, it is expected that full support be given to the Company by attending events and taking part in general Company life.
- Quarterage (annual membership fee) is payable yearly by Direct Debit.
Current fines and fees
Fines/Fees approved by the Court in November 2018- subject to alteration without notice.
A downloadable version is available below