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Master of the Guild of St Bride for the past 14 years, Vyvyan Harmsworth, will resign from the post in a year's time, it was announced at the annual meeting of the Guild in Council on February 16. Warm tributes were paid to him for his outstanding leadership and loyalty both to the guild and the church itself.
The meeting agreed to appoint Sir David Bell as Master-elect, which will ensure that the list of Masters of the guild continues to be provided by the newspaper industry.
Sir David has been associated with the Financial Times in a wide range of positions including that of Washington correspondent for three years in the 1970s. Aged 63, he has been a director of Pearson since 1966 - the world's largest educational publisher, which also owns the Penguin Group and the Financial Times group. One of five executive directors on the board of Pearson, he currently holds the post of Chairman of the FT and Director for People at Pearson.
He chaired the Millennium Bridge Trust in London for seven years from 1995 and was responsible for conceiving the first new bridge across the Thames in the centre of London for 100 years. He received his knighthood for services to industry, the arts and charity.
Invested as a Guild member in 1993, he is a former Churchwarden at St Bride's.