“A nursery of charities and a seminary of good citizens”
Coined by the Grocers’ Clerk in 1682, this description of the Company is something we still recognise and cherish, despite the dated language. Both “nursery” and “seminary” are used here in their original senses of places that promote, develop, or nurture something.
Promoting charity and nurturing good citizenship is as central to the Company’s purpose now as it has ever been.
Grocers believe in fostering excellence and opportunity; using our influence and resources to achieve these aims through five main areas of activity:
The Grocers’ Company carefully manages its assets to provide a sustainable source of funds for deserving, diverse causes. We also promote and support the charitable giving of individual Grocers to the causes they care about through matched funding. Increasingly, individual Grocers and members of staff contribute to bolster the Company’s charitable funds, and give their time generously to help Grocer-supported charities and other initiatives across the UK.
We are a fellowship of friends who enjoy each other’s company and spend time nurturing our shared values, interests and objectives. We recognise our responsibility to Grocers, past and future. We believe in generosity and hospitality. We enjoy hosting friends, old and new, to broaden our experiences and benefit from different perspectives. When admitting new members we welcome those who will add to the future vitality of the Company as well as benefit from it.
Jubilee Oundle Wood, members tree planting
Grocers have supported learning for hundreds of years. We have long-standing connections with schools including Oundle School, founded by the Grocers’ Master in 1556, Mossbourne Federation of Schools, The Henry Box School and The Elms School. We also provide bursaries and other financial help to a range of secondary, tertiary and adult learning institutions in the City of London and elsewhere. Many Grocers take up positions as Governors in the schools and colleges we support.
With a history dating back to 1180, Grocers believe in the value of our shared institutions as society learns from the past and evolves. That is why we preserve many of our ancient traditions and celebrate significant events in our history. It is why we pledge allegiance to the Sovereign and why we support many churches and the work they do in the City and elsewhere. It is also why we value our affiliations with four units in HM Armed Forces and with the City of London Police Cadets.
The City of London enjoys a unique style of civic administration: Livery companies, including the Grocers, continue to play an important role in contributing people, resources and ideas to its good governance. We recognise the important role the City plays in the fortunes of our country and we work towards its continued success, encouraging and supporting Grocers who wish to stand for public office as Common Councillors, Aldermen, Sheriffs and Lord Mayors.
Company Historian Dr Helen Clifford looks at important anniversaries, forgotten Company connections across the country and hidden gems found in the archive - celebrating the rich and varied past of the Grocers’ Company.
We value our affiliations with four units in HM Armed Forces and with the City of London Police Cadets. We continue to share the same noble values of service to others and are jointly proud of our new and historic ties in an affiliation of mutual interest and support.