St Vedast has long had close associations with the livery companies within its parish boundaries. The Worshipful Companies of Goldsmiths, Pewterers, Wax Chandlers, Saddlers and Plaisterers all have halls within the parish. Other Worshipful Companies with headquarters in the parish include the Brewers, Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Engineers, Plumbers and Weavers. Having made important contributions to church life and fortunes for many centuries, they continue their close involvement with St Vedast today. Most hold their annual services to install new masters and members here, and also celebrate the Christmas season with carol services in the church. Livery company members are often married or baptised here. In addition St Vedast is honoured to serve other livery companies from time to time.
The five companies in the parish with halls make them available to let for receptions and other functions. Their use is sometimes combined with services at St Vedast, including wedding receptions or post-concert parties.
The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths has shared Foster Lane with St Vedast since about the 15th century. It is one of the few livery companies to retain a statutory function, as it is to the Goldsmiths’ Hall that silver, gold and platinum objects are taken to be assayed for quality and given a London hallmark.
The Worshipful Company of Pewterers is actively involved in the pewter trade as well as undertaking charitable functions. It is located on the site of St Mary Staining, one of the parishes absorbed into that of St Vedast, and overlooks one of our gardens, as seen below.
The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers
originated as the guild regulating and supervising the making of beeswax items. The spiritual and ceremonial use of wax candles by churches is very ancient, and St Vedast is grateful and privileged to have the continued support of the Company in supplying candles for services.
The Worshipful Company of Saddlers are the nearest neighbours to St Vedast, at various times bordering both the south and east sides of the church. Dating back to the 12th century, the company still maintains a close relationship with the saddlery trade and with equestrianism as well as undertaking charitable and educational functions.
The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers supports its historic trade of plastering and its modern version, drylining. The site of its original three Halls was near Wood Street but its current modern Hall is at One London Wall.