Lesley’s special honour hits the mark!

Lesley Grady a member of the diocesan central team and part of the team who leads on our Homes for Ukraine scheme received an unusual honour last week when she was made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Fletchers at a special ceremony held at The Farmers and Fletchers Hall in the City of London.


The Worshipful Company of Fletchers is one of the oldest Freemen of the City of London's 110 Livery Companies.  The group originally, bowyers (longbow-makers) and fletchers (arrow-makers) comprised one organisation and their coat of arms which features three arrows, reflects these origins.


Lesley has been involved in archery for over 20 years. She explains: “Being made a freeman is a huge honour and reflects many years of dedication to the sport of Archery.”  She was awarded the honour by The Master of the Company, Mr Andrew Trapnell, during a special ceremony held at The Farmers and Fletchers Hall yesterday. She adds: “I have been a longbow archer for over 20 years. My husband is the Warden for the Craft Guild of Bowyers and Fletchers and is a Master Bowyer, as was his father before him. Although I do not make arrows myself, I understand the complexity involved in the crafting of them. I am the secretary of the Herefordshire Bow Meeting, one of the oldest archery societies in the country, as well as secretary to The Ilkley Arrow. It been my privilege to be a member of the Royal Toxophilite Society. I first became aware of the Fletchers through their support of the Paralympic archers when I was a Games Maker in 2012. By becoming a Freeman I will be able to continue the great support that they have provided to the para-archers, as well as to the other affiliated charities that they work with.”


The ancient Freemen are the original traders of the city of London and can trace their roots back to the 12th century when they formed special craftsman guilds to help regulate competition within each trade to help maintain high standards of production.  Some guilds introduced their own distinctive clothing and regalia – or livery – to distinguish their members from those in other guilds which soon became known as livery companies.


The honourary status means Lesley along with her fellow freemen (which these days include many women) will be eligibility to become a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Company. Liveryman are involved in the election of the Sheriffs of the City of London, endorse the election of the Lord Mayor of London and play a role in various events. Lesley sums it up “I am really excited because the next step is to become a Freeman of the City of London in September– giving me the right to take my sheep over London Bridge toll free! I can then be clothed as a Liveryman later in the year. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to take part in the Lord Mayor’s Show one day. But until then, I will enjoy being able to support the charitable work the Fletchers do, as well as contribute to the research of the history of fletching.”

Lesley is busy back at her day job working for the diocese, where she is equally passionate and a huge supporter and advocate for the Ukrainian community in Herefordshire, supporting those who are still seeking homes here in the county.

Last modified on Saturday, 29 June 2024 14:31