Our Strategy



1.         A livery company is a unique organisation. The oldest, which include the Tallow Chandlers, can trace their recorded history back to the Middle Ages as trade guilds. As such, livery companies had an early involvement in the training of apprentices in an understanding of the duties and responsibilities required of their trade. In addition, they had the authority to supervise such trade in a fair and equitable manner in exchange for exclusive trading rights in the commodity or profession in question, as well as supporting those in or connected with that trade and the City.

2.         Livery companies have faced many challenges over the centuries and it is testimony to the enduring value of these common objectives, and to the ability of those who have guided livery companies, that ancient and modern companies continue to thrive in the City.

3.         The global pandemic presents a 21st Century challenge having immediate and far-reaching social, commercial and financial consequences, potentially as acute, as the Royal demands in earlier centuries, the re-building of the City after the Great Fire of London and the World Wars in the 20th Century. At the same time, political/social trends are accelerating and ‘Climate Change’ – and the associated Green Agenda – has a high priority in the national conscience. This Strategy has been reviewed in this evolving context.

4.         Leveraging its historical roots and recognising the (immediate) need, the Company[1] will continue to strive, through the gifts of time and money, to improve society. The Company also seeks to use the networks and trade/business and other associations, which have been built up over hundreds of years, in support of its educational and charitable efforts. The Hall, dating from 1672 and standing on land which the Company has owned since 1476, is the tangible expression of the fellowship which underpins its support for trade/business and the City of London, and its focus on educational and charitable activities.

5.         The ultimate purpose – and outward expression – of the Company is to continue to make a genuine difference at the point of need focused mainly, but not exclusively, in Greater London. The Company’s support to education and charity, its history and historic hall, and the strong sense of fellowship combine to achieve this purpose. This document places the Company’s activities in that context by linking its support of education and charity with the Company’s heritage – including its major trade and business links, wider affiliations, its fellowship, and its responsibilities in, and to, the City of London. With the support of a vibrant Livery and Freedom, the Company intends to remain purposeful and relevant in the 21st Century.

6.         This Strategy sets out the Company’s objectives, how they will be achieved and the priorities – stepping-stones – for the coming year. 

7.         The Court, and the Court acting on behalf of the Trustee of the Benevolent Fund[2], normally review the strategy in February each year. This year the Strategy will be subject to additional review at an ‘away day’ for formal and subsequent sign off by the Court in July 2021.

8.         The Court approved Strategy will be accessible in full on the Members’ Section of the Company’s website – and in summary on the Public Section. Further, all members of the Company will receive a hard copy of this document in August, along with other annual publications.

The Company’s Objectives

9.         The Company’s objectives are listed below.

a.         To support, through financial and other means, disadvantaged young people and to promote educational and vocational excellence, including youth organisations. Specifically, and noting the overlaps, the support will focus on:

(1)       disadvantaged young people in Greater London to enable them to have the opportunity to succeed in life;  

(2)       smaller charities, usually but not exclusively in the UK, where modest donations can have a high impact;

(3)       educational excellence, in particular, the STEM[3] subjects; and,

(4)       vocational/youth initiatives to inspire alternative routes into life-long learning and sustainable employment.  

b.         To build upon the Company’s heritage by:

(1)       upholding and preserving the values and traditions of the Company, including the Hall and its historical and other assets;

(2)       developing further the ‘Master and Apprentice’ tradition through the Company’s Award Winners Alumni project;

(3)       re-establishing an active and supportive membership and strong fellowship, post an extended Hall closure, by promoting events and activities in and outside the Hall;

(4)       developing proactive policies to pursue a more inclusive culture throughout the Company to recognise and celebrate London’s heritage and diversity.      

(5)       developing external relationships with historical and related trades/businesses, institutions, educational and charitable bodies, HM Forces and the City of London and encouraging participation in, or support for, the Company’s education and charitable endeavours; and,

(6)       fostering a culture of philanthropy in the Company.

c.         To contribute to the City of London by participating in all aspects of the activities and governance of the City of London and both directly and indirectly promoting the City’s position as the world’s leading financial and commercial city.

Delivering our Objectives

To provide support to education and charity

10.       The Company believes that the most effective and lasting way of enabling young people to fulfil their potential and contribute to society is to support education in its widest sense. The Company will also support charities that help weak and vulnerable members of society.

11.       This objective will be achieved as listed below.  

a.         Promoting a philanthropic culture within the Company, its membership and its wider network and in the use of the Hall. The Company and Benevolent Fund activities should be regarded as indivisible, the two combining to deliver the Company’s principal objective, most evident in the support provided to the three flagship schools[4].

b.         Increasing the Company’s Benevolent Fund, through donations and legacies, to enable the Company to increase its financial support year on year.  

c.         Providing financial support (and monitoring impact) to:

(1)       the flagship schools, other educational institutions, projects and individuals (particularly those that focus on STEM subjects);

(2)       initiatives that break-down barriers to and promote       employment;

(3)       training programmes; and,

(4)       charities which support the weaker and more vulnerable members of society.

d.         Providing non-financial support in the following ways:

(1)       support to governing bodies;

(2)       mentoring;

(3)       patronage;

(4)       use of the Hall; and,

(5)       encouraging participation from the Company’s wider network.

e.         Sharing expertise available within the Company with organisations involved in education, and other activities through the personal involvement of Company members.

To build upon the Company’s heritage

12.       The Company will seek to uphold its values and traditions and to ensure its continuing relevance by:

a.         identifying and nurturing Past Award Winners, especially those from the flagship schools and graduates from other schools supported by the Company[5], that have the potential to be members of, and advance to the highest levels within, the Company;

b.         fulfilling its stewardship and sustainability responsibilities for the assets of the Company including the Tallow Chandlers’ Hall and its other historic assets;

c.         establishing and maintaining an inclusive vibrant community[6] and strong fellowship committed to achieving the Company’s aims and objectives;

d.         conducting a programme of social, cultural and sporting activities that engages and re-engages its membership;  

e.         managing the Company’s financial affairs responsibly, while           recognising the need for long-term/perpetual sustainability;

f.          developing the Company’s links with, and educational excellence within, the tallow (and tallow related) trades, through BP and FOSFA International, through companies involved in the Oils, Seeds and Fats trades and through the British Candle-makers Federation;

g.         maintaining affiliations with historical institutions[7] and with HM Forces[8]; and,

h.         strengthening relationships within the City of London, including the City Corporation, other livery companies and the commercial and financial sector. 

To contribute to the City of London

13.       It is a key responsibility of a livery company to participate in the activities and governance of the City of London and to promote, both directly and indirectly, the City’s position as the world’s leading financial and commercial centre.

14.       The Company will achieve this objective by:

a.         increasing awareness of the City of London and encouraging participation by its members in all aspects of the City’s activities, including participating in ceremonial events and activities that promote the City of London and support the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs;

b.         ensuring all members understand how Livery Companies have evolved – and continue to evolve – within the City of London;

c.         encouraging continued participation by members and business associates of the Company in the governance of the City of London;

d.         encouraging and supporting members of the Company who may aspire to be a Sheriff and/or the Lord Mayor of the City of London, or to take other civic roles and appointments in the City; and,

e.         highlighting the Company’s connections with BP, FOSFA International, NEODA and the British Candle-makers Federation.

[1] The term ‘Company’ includes the Tallow Chandlers’ Company and the Tallow Chandlers’ Benevolent Fund; the former governed by the Court, the latter governed by the Court acting on behalf of the Trustee of the Benevolent Fund (the Company).

[2] Deed of Amendment of Administrative Powers dated 27th April 2017.

[3] Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

[4] Flagships are Greig City Academy in Hornsey, Halley Academy in Greenwich and Cubitt Town Junior School in the Isle of Dogs.

[5] Past Award Winners can join the Company by Servitude, while other graduates from the schools can apply for Freedom by Redemption.

[6] Comprising some 180 ‘active’ Liverymen and 130 Freemen with a blend of trade, City, professional, educational, military and family connections.

[7] Honourable Gentlemen at Arms and HM Body Guard, Yeoman of the Guard.

[8] Royal Navy – Manchester and Salford University RN Unit & HMS BITER; Army – 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group, RE; and RAF – 206 (R) Squadron.

This is an extract from the full Company Strategy which can be viewed in the Members’ Area of this website. The strategy sets out the Company’s objectives, how they are to be achieved and the priorities for the coming year. It is reviewed annually by The Court.